Pat McCrory, North Carolina’s transphobic governor, and the state’s Republican legislators have decided to issue a final “fuck you” to the state’s newly elected Democratic Governor Roy Cooper (and the 2,281,155 voters who elected him). Immediately following a special legislative session on hurricane relief, Republicans railroaded two bills which will severely limit Cooper’s powers in office.
Here’s a list of what these changes will do, thanks to Vox.com:
Cut the number of positions working directly for the governor from 1,500 to 300 (a number which was originally expanded from 400 for McCrory in 2013), limiting the number of Democrats Cooper can appoint to government.
Require that the governor’s cabinet appointments be approved by the state senate, which is currently controlled by Republicans.
Limit the number of appointments the governor can make to the state Board of Education and University of North Carolina board of trustees.
Change the state’s nonpartisan Supreme Court election process to a partisan one. In other words, Supreme Court nominees would have a “(D)” or “(R)” by their names on a ballot.
Require that cases go through a full court of appeals — which is currently controlled by Republicans — before going to the state Supreme Court, which currently has a Democratic majority.
Change the makeup of the state and county board of elections, which are currently set up to be in the governor’s party’s majority, to equally bipartisan boards, which would be led by Republicans in election years and by Democrats in non-election years.
Most ominous are the election board changes which will help ensure Republican handling of any election disputes, rather ominous considering the party’s recent attempts at racist unconstitutional gerrymandering. When protestors flooded the state capitol to protest this week’s GOP power grab, they (and a journalist) got arrested. It’s pretty much guaranteed that McCrory will sign these bills. And just when we thought he couldn’t get any worse.