Governor Cooper continues to send conflicting messages about what laws to apply and what laws to ignore. Now he has decided to take on the mantle of law giver and in the process he demeans the respect for the office and himself.

Since early March the governor has ignored the state’s Emergency Management Act requiring consultation with the members of the Council of State in situations requiring emergency executive action such as during hurricanes and now as the state and country respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

North Carolinians watched in shock as the governor stood silent as rioters destroyed monuments on the State Capitol grounds. Shortly after that incident the governor, unilaterally and illegally, ordered the removal of other monuments to assuage the concern and the threats of the rioters.

Now the governor has decided, without consultation with the legislature or Council of State, to fashion a new restriction on businesses and the public that has no means for enforcement and is constitutionally questionable.

 Friday, Governor Cooper announced his decision to maintain, for three more weeks, his “Safe at Home Phase 2” restrictions on businesses. He also announced a requirement that all citizens are to wear face masks while outside of their homes.

Under the governor’s most recent executive order businesses are responsible for assuring that patrons wear masks and if they fail to do so it will result in legal action against the business.

The response to the governor’s mandate generated both surprise and significant push back, most notably from the law enforcement agencies that have stated the governor’s mandate lacks legal precedence and is not enforceable.

Carteret County Sheriff Asa Buck released a statement shortly after the governor’s announcement in which he noted: “As a practical matter it would be difficult to enforce the face covering requirements of the Governor’s order based on the way the order is worded and the numerous exceptions present in the order; therefore, my office will not be enforcing the face covering requirements of Executive Order No 147.”

Sheriff Buck does go on to say that private businesses do have the privilege of determining who they will allow into their facilities and under what circumstances. If patrons refuse to meet the criteria established by the business, trespassing warrants can be served. But, as the Sheriff notes, his deputies will not be requiring businesses to meet the governor’s mandate.

The sheriff’s announcement, along with similar responses from other law enforcement entities across the state, exemplifies the lack of respect for both the actions and the office of the governor. While that is very unfortunate it is justifiable.

The governor continues to dictate actions without seeking input or advice from either his Council of State or the very agencies tasked with administering his mandates – in this case law enforcement agencies such as the sheriffs and police departments.

It doesn’t help that the governor failed to administer state laws when it came to protecting state property during the recent riot on the State Capitol grounds or that he has failed to show any support for law enforcement personnel as they’ve been pilloried by the press, politicians and rioters. Now he expects law enforcement, the very people he has dismissed, to give his questionable and poorly worded mandate cover.

These recent actions and inactions exemplify the governor’s hubris about his authority as the state’s chief executive. He now determines which laws to apply, which to ignore and is now taking on the mantle of law maker. None of these actions are within his purview. He, like every citizen of the state, is accountable to the state constitution and its laws.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest yesterday did what has been needed for many months- he challenged the governor’s actions with the threat of a lawsuit. Ironically the lawsuit requires the governor’s approval to hire an outside lawyer since it will also challenge the state attorney general who is responsible for drafting Governor Cooper’s executive orders.

It is doubtful the governor will allow for an outside attorney to pursue the legal action so there is little chance Lt. Gov. Forest’s action will succeed. But his action is worthy of note because it unmasks the governor’s hubris and dismissive attitude about his responsibilities. It is time to hold the governor accountable to his sworn duties to uphold the state’s constitution, apply the laws passed by the legislature and to restrain him from unconstitutional mandates that are harming the state.

(16) comments

CARTERETISCORRUPT

Cooper was the attorney general for many years; he should know better. But then, he is a democrat. Stupid, or just plain dictatorial. You make the call.

mpjeep

My call is he is a Tyrant.

David Collins

This Covid-19 is a real problem and the folks really should do their best to avoid infection . That said , trying to force folks to do anything proactive based on a decree is futility at best . Turning business owners into “brown shirts” is beyond stupid and probably illegal . Is it impeachable is a good question . Buttttt , this distracts from a bigger threat looming just over the horizon . If Biden gets elected president , I should rephrase this . If Biden and his handlers get elected come November , folks , you ain’t seen nothing yet . This will embolden every left wing whacko Senator , Representative , Governor , Mayor , commissioner and a host of wannabe dictators to enact whatever crazy legislation they will desire . As we all know there are gracious plenty about these days . Trump has his faults , to be sure , but to my knowledge has not intentionally attempted to harm anyone in this country . Do not necessarily agree with all things Trump but things could be oh so much worse . No one is perfect and anyone that voted for him did so with their eyes wide open . Generally speaking we have no regrets .

klacy

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, a Republican, urged North Carolinians to wear masks to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease, to help the economy reopen and to protect businesses from COVID-related lawsuits. “Everyone needs to know: You can help reduce the spread by 80% and we can beat the virus if you just wear something over your nose and mouth when you go out,” Tillis, told listeners during a telephonic and online town hall.

mpjeep

Carteret County has 70,000 residents with 79 cases of covid-19. How do we do any better than that? We've had more flu cases than that. As Gov Copper says all the time....let's look at the numbers and data. So I did and went to grocery store today without a mask.

klacy

Now up to 92 - spreading fast

Herndon

you're a real hero

CARTERETISCORRUPT

The wearing of a mask is more indicative of indoctrination than infection control. We have clearly shown we can easily be manipulated by fear. And there will be another "fear" soon, rest assured. The libs will do this until they are in power.

JohnnyR

I guess it's going to take for a loved one to catch it and die before some of you knuckleheads understand not everything is about politics. Wear a mask if you must go out, it's really not that hard to do.

CARTERETISCORRUPT

Those that are at risk should wear the mask. Those that are low risk, it is their choice. This is about personal choice and responsibility. IT is not for government to order us into compliance. Largely, it remains, that the mask is more a symbol of indoctrination than anything else. We are talking about a virus here folks; the majority of masks are not effective. Knuckleheads? No.

Osprey

How is this a political left wing conspiracy when it is a worldwide pandemic ? Italy. Brazil. Great Britain. Russia. China.

Never knew that left wing political conspiracy's had such a reach globally.

Sadly it is going to take enough people to experience the virus first hand by affecting or killing a loved one or someone they know. Many prefer to war a blindfold rather than a mask. Makes no sense.

David Collins

I got mine and it is purdy . A real fashion statement .

SandFiddler

Mine is prettier than yours David. [wink]

David Collins

It appears that we have a scenario of mask envy erupting .

David Collins

Masks , masks, masks . To wear one or not to . I tried to wear a N-95 spray stopper but it restricted my breathing and fogged up my glasses continually . Ditched that one for the blue over the ear type , not as bad but not comfortable . Now I have a scarf type that I suspect is not very effective but makes folks think I care about them . I do actually , just a caring type of guy , I am . The point is that the populace has become so sensitized these days , you can see it in their eyes , that it is not so much protection but the appearance of protection .

This appearance thing translates over to the constant reporting of increased cases but seldom mentions recoveries . The real travesty is in the deaths reporting . Anyone that dies and is tested positive is automatically put on the covid death list . It matters not what the actual cause of death was . A large number of deaths are presumed to be from Covid because there was no autopsy . Why are the annual flue deaths so much lower this year ? Suspect the long tentacles of politics are at work here so take the numbers with a heaping helping of salt .

Yup , I will continue to wear my designer mask because I chose to , not because I have bought into anything . Besides , it makes my young bride happy .

klacy

Republican Governor of Texas makes mask mandatory in all counties with 20 or more cases.

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