State of North Carolina

North Carolina S.B. 749 Challenge 

Cooper v. Berger

Lawsuit filed on behalf of Gov. Roy Cooper (D) against President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina Senate Phillip Berger (R), House Speaker Timothy Moore (R) and North Carolina challenging a power grabbing law, Senate Bill 749. S.B. 749 removes the governor’s power to appoint members to the state board of elections, granting it to the North Carolina Legislature instead. Additionally, the law requires the state board of elections to have an even number of Democrats and Republicans, departing from the current system that allows the party that holds the governor’s office (currently Democrats) to appoint a majority of state board members. The law also changes the composition of the state’s 100 county election boards to be four-member bipartisan boards appointed by lawmakers, making stalemates in decision-making more likely. The complaint argues that the new law prevents the governor from exercising his constitutional duty “to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed” as the law deprives the governor of his ability to appoint members to  the state board of elections. The governor alleges that the new law violates the Separation of Powers Clause and the Faithful Execution Clause of the North Carolina Constitution and requests that the court block the implementation of the law. 

On Nov. 30, 2023, a North Carolina trial court temporarily blocked multiple parts of S.B. 749 challenged by Cooper. On March 11, 2024, the court granted the governor’s motion for summary judgment and declared the law unconstitutional. On March 12, the legislative defendants appealed the decision.

STATUS: Litigation is ongoing in the North Carolina Court of Appeals. S.B. 749 remains blocked.

Case Documents

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