Judge rules against Lt. Gov. Forest’s attempt to limit Gov. Cooper’s coronavirus orders

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A Superior Court judge has rejected Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest’s initial attempt to overthrow some of Governor Roy Cooper’s executive orders related to COVID-19.

Judge James Gale ruled Tuesday that Forest “failed to demonstrate that he is likely to succeed on any claims for relief stated in his complaint” but did not go as far to fully dismiss it.

“…the legislature chose statutory language empowering the Governor to act “in his discretion,” and making clear that his power to do so is “in addition to any other powers conferred upon the Governor by law,” the ruling says in part.

Forest is challenging eight of Cooper’s Executive Orders which he has labeled as “shutdown orders.” He is arguing that the governor should have consulted with the ten-member Council of State before officially putting them into action and also says Cooper violated state law by enacting a quarantine without a court order.

“Today, the the court ruled that Governor Cooper has 100% of the power during a declared emergency and can act unilaterally to deny freedoms to every North Carolinian,” Forest said in a statement. “Ultimately, the people of North Carolina will make the final decision in November.”

A spokesperson for Cooper’s office also responded, saying, “Dan Forest’s lawsuit never had teeth and today’s ruling confirms that. It was never more than a desperate tactic to garner attention for his political campaign. His time would be better spent putting the health and safety of North Carolinians before his own political motivations.”

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