RALEIGH – The legal battle over the validity of Governor Roy Cooper’s unilateral executive orders commenced Tuesday with online opening arguments. Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest felt compelled to sue Cooper after the governor repeatedly eschewed the apparent requirement for concurrence from the Council of State as he imposed restrictive executive decrees that shuttered businesses, violated Individual Rights like the Freedom to Worship, and mandated face masks.
There’s another prong to Forest’s case against Cooper, though, that may get some help from an unlikely place: a Leftist. That’s the interesting point made by Mitch Kokai, senior analyst with the John Locke Foundation, in an article for the Carolina Journal:
“[…] Forest’s legal argument relies in part on a piece of recent legislative history. A key player in that history? Rick Glazier.
Now the executive director of the N.C. Justice Center, a vocal advocate of left-of-center public policies, Glazier was a first-term Democratic legislator representing Cumberland County in 2004. It’s in that role that Glazier makes an appearance in Forest’s latest legal brief.
Most discussion of Forest v. Cooper has focused on the lieutenant governor’s claim that Cooper should have submitted COVID-19 economic shutdown orders to a vote of the 10-member Council of State. That group includes Forest and the other statewide elected executive branch officials. Forest contends that Cooper’s decision to bypass the council violates the state Emergency Management Act.
A second, less-publicized piece of Forest’s lawsuit deals with Cooper’s alleged violation of another law. That law governs quarantines and isolation in North Carolina.
Treating Cooper’s mandatory stay-at-home orders as equivalent to a quarantine, the lieutenant governor argues that the governor needed court approval of his plans. State law allows quarantines to last no more than 30 days without a court-sanctioned extension, Forest argues. […]”
It turns out that Glazier, as a state lawmaker in 2004, helped amend legislation related to quarantine measures and ensured limitations on the powers of executive branch during another health-related emergency: SARS.
SARS is a coronavirus. The ‘novel coronavirus’ that induces COVID-19 is SARS-CoV2.
The state government wanted to be able to place SICK PEOPLE in quarantine for up to 30 days, and Glazier argued, successfully, that such could be done only if individual’s right to appeal to the Superior Court was guaranteed within 72 hours.
Forest’s legal team notes that the entire premise of quarantine in the 2004 legislative debate was targeted at sick or exposed people, and even then those individuals had the right to appeal. To the contrary, the Forest brief states, Governor Cooper “claims to have unlimited authority over the freedom of movement of 10.5 million North Carolinians — totally disregarding even the slightest check on his perceived unlimited power by the Superior Court or the Council of State.”
Kokai’s recounting of the legislative history in 2004 is quite interesting, as he notes that the Democratic governor did not protest the limitations of his executive power. Cooper has has a hissy fit every time he learns of a citizen not heeding his every command.
Read Kokai’s full article at the Carolina Journal, and hope that the judiciary (even the Social Justices on the N.C. Supreme Court) see the massive executive overreach weighing on North Carolina citizens.