General Assembly Rejects Roy Cooper’s Unconstitutional Call for Special Session

State lawmakers have voted to disregard Gov. Roy Cooper’s call Wednesday for an extra session to redraw the legislative districts struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Thursday morning, House Speaker Tim Moore ruled in favor of a constitutional appeal made by House Rules Chairman David Lewis, R-Harnett, that the call was not constitutional.

The state constitution gives the governor the power to call lawmakers into an extra session “on extraordinary occasions, by and with the advice of the Council of State.”

Lewis argued that there is no “extraordinary occasion” here because the General Assembly is already in regular session and can conduct its business in regular order. He also argued that a federal court order mandated lawmakers to redraw the maps in “regular session,” not a special session.

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Lewis also argued that Cooper had not “meaningfully complied” with the requirement to seek the advice of the Council of State before making the call.

After Moore ruled in favor of Lewis’s protest, Rep. Darren Jackson, D-Wake, filed an appeal of the ruling, but the appeal was voted down 44-71.

The Senate quickly filed suit with a similar move, effectively canceling the extra session scheduled in both chambers for 2 p.m.

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