Regarding the July 16 Under the Dome article “Spaulding launches ad against Cooper”: Ken Spaulding is correct.
The attorney general in the same-sex marriage case at long last accepted his authority to determine the state’s position in litigation. The issue is not whether Roy Cooper is right or wrong on the merits of the cases.
Spaulding’s point is that Cooper has, until now, said that he had no option but to represent an agency or officer, regardless of his professional evaluation of the case.
Cooper’s argument is pure sophistry. The attorney general is an elected official holding an independent office. He is not appointed. State officers and agencies are not his clients. The people of North Carolina are his clients.
The state Constitution, his oath of office and the provisions of Chapter 114 of the General Statutes require and empower him to represent “the public.”
Cooper has used the shield of “I have no choice – it is my duty to represent ...”
At least until now where, apparently, it became more politically expedient to accept his responsibilities.
Robert A. Melott
The writer is a former associate professor at the UNC School of Law and a former chief administrative law judge in North Carolina.