The North Carolina General Assembly drew international attention earlier this year when it held a special session to quickly pass House Bill 2 law restricting protections for gay and transgender people.
Now, the Republican-led legislature has called a special session aimed at stripping powers away from the newly elected Democratic Governor Roy Cooper. The nation is again taking notice.
“What’s happening in North Carolina is not politics as usual. It is an extraordinarily disturbing legislative coup, a flagrant effort to maintain one-party rule by rejecting democratic norms and revoking the will of the voters. It is the kind of thing we might expect to see in Venezuela, not a U.S. state. It should terrify every American citizen who believes in the rule of law. This is so much more than a partisan power grab. This is an attack on democracy itself.”
“It’s a brazen and unabashed attempt to undercut Roy Cooper, the Democratic governor-elect, in the wake of a hard-fought election that spilled well into December when Governor Pat McCrory, a Republican, refused to concede and challenged results in several counties...Even if only a few are passed, it will be the latest trick from a legislature that has proven to be one of the most ingenious and powerful in the country since a Republican takeover in 2010.”
“The legislative session generated reminders of one in March that led to the divisive “bathroom bill” that limited gay and transgender rights. It further cemented the perception of North Carolina as a place that has gone from a symbol of pragmatic New South moderation to one in a perpetual state of political civil war...Few states are quite as bitterly divided as this one, but there are hints here, too, of what may be in store for a nation that is just as divided and bruised after the presidential election.”
“North Carolina Republicans make brazen bid for permanent power after losing governor's race.”
“Republicans flexing their muscle against Cooper have pointed to past sessions of the General Assembly, when it was dominated by Democrats. Democrats stripped the powers of the first and only GOP lieutenant governor of the 20th Century in the late 1980s. But Democrats said there's been no such widespread effort to limit the power of an incoming executive.”
“Fresh off losing control of the governor’s seat, North Carolina Republicans are now trying to undermine the election results through the state legislature by pushing bills that would limit the power of Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper.”