It certainly seems like Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican leaders in the N.C. General Assembly have been in court a lot.
The legal battles started before Cooper, a Democrat, was even inaugurated. The two sides are still waiting for the court to rule on some matters, a reality that recently pushed one N.C. House member to a boiling point.
Republican state Rep. David Lewis of Harnett County, upset that one of Cooper’s lawsuits has stalled the elections process in Carteret County, recently wrote about the governor’s legal challenges in a blog post on DavidLewis.org.
Cooper, Lewis wrote, has “filed nearly one lawsuit a month, with every single one of them an attempt to extend his own power.”
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Cooper was sworn in Jan. 1, so he had been governor for seven months at the time of Lewis’s claim. According to his office, he’s filed three lawsuits against legislative leaders since voters elected him – one of those coming before his inauguration.
Lewis said Cooper is trying to extend his power. Cooper’s lawsuits are indeed related to the scope of the governor’s powers. But Lewis fails to mention on his blog that, after Cooper was elected but before he was sworn in, Republican legislators – including Lewis – and former Gov. Pat McCrory enacted new laws that alter or limit the responsibilities and powers of the governor.
For an explanation of why we rated Lewis’ claim Mostly False, read the full fact-check on PolitiFact.com.
Speaker: N.C. House member David Lewis
Statement: Gov. Roy Cooper has “filed nearly one lawsuit a month, with every single one of them an attempt to extend his own power.”
Ruling: Cooper had filed three lawsuits and an amendment over seven months when Lewis made his claim. Lewis gives the impression that Cooper has been wildly filing lawsuits to expand his powers. But the lawsuits primarily respond to reductions in power passed by Lewis’ party shortly before Cooper took office and afterward. So we rate his claim Mostly False.