North Carolina Republican Lt. Dan Forest continues to threaten to sue Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, over radical executive orders issued in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Forest contends that the orders violated the state constitution because Cooper was unable to first obtain the support of Republican leaders.
In a Saturday interview on “Fox & Friends Weekend,” Forest said North Carolina is “a little different” than other states in the distribution of executive power.
THE GOVERNOR OF THE NC LIEUTENANT WARNS THAT HE MAY SUE THE GOVERNOR IN RESPONSE OF CORONAVIRUS
“Our constitution states very clearly that the governor must obtain the approval of the Council of State, that is, the lieutenant governor, the secretary of state, the treasurer, etc. He must obtain the approval of those members before making great efforts. Orders executives that impact the state, “he said.
“It all started when we didn’t agree to the specific request he made, and he continued from there just doing what he wanted … without any agreement,” Forest told “Fox & Friends” host Jedediah Bila. “It’s really about the constitution and the rule of law. And, in times of emergency, [it’s] more important than ever to follow the rule of law and the constitution. “
In a letter sent to Cooper on Thursday, Forest states that Cooper had consulted the State Council before issuing a March order prohibiting restaurants from operating the dinner service and still proceeded with the mandate after officials expressed their objections.
According to Forest, Cooper has not consulted with the council before issuing a series of executive orders since then.
Messages to Fox News’ Cooper office were not immediately returned.
Forest accused Cooper of making it “impossible” for the council to “comply” [their] oaths to uphold North Carolina law, “and asked that Cooper waive the requirement that State Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat, represent him in his lawsuit to avoid a conflict of interest.
Forest said he plans to use outside legal advice.
According to Forest, the governor’s reopening plan has been riddled with inconsistencies, with large retailers allowed to open, but not “mom and pop on main street.”
“And the ‘science and data’ claim with no explanation of what science or data is leading to this,” he added. “There is a … lack of transparency, and a lot of data is missing in answering the questions you are providing here.”
Cooper’s most recent mandate came on Wednesday when he ordered the use of masks in public and extended the second phase of the state’s economic reopening until July 17.
The move comes as the virus has re-emerged in several states, including North Carolina, threatening months of progress.
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Despite those concerns, Forest said the governor’s unique approach to containing the virus is affecting large sections of the state.
“North Carolina is a fairly broad state. About 85 percent of our state is rural, at least 50 percent of our counties out of our 100 counties really don’t have a big problem here, and they should be allowed to go back to the life on some level and not having the same kind of blockade that our cities are having, “Forest said.
Louis Casiano of Fox News contributed to this report.