By Nyamekye Daniel
(The Center Square) – North Carolina Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has abandoned his lawsuit against Gov. Roy Cooper’s COVID-19 executive orders after a court dismissed his claims.
Forest, who is Cooper’s Republican opponent in November’s gubernatorial election, asked a Superior Court judge to rescind Cooper’s orders until the governor receives the concurrence of the majority of the Council of State.
The governor and lieutenant governor are two of the 10 state officials who make up the Council of State. The board also includes the secretary of state, attorney general, state treasurer, state auditor, commissioner of labor, commissioner of agriculture, insurance commissioner and superintendent of public instruction.
Judge Jim Gale ruled Tuesday, Aug. 11, that Forest didn’t prove he had a viable case against Cooper or that the law is unconstitutional.
Attorney General Josh Stein confirmed Forest’s decision to back away from the lawsuit Thursday morning on Twitter.
“Breaking Update: Late last night, [Lt. Gov.] Forest dropped his lawsuit against Gov. Cooper, deciding against appealing the court’s decision,” Stein tweeted. “Therefore, Gov. Cooper’s executive orders protecting the health and safety of [North Carolinians] stand.”
In a news release after the ruling, Forest said the court ruled Cooper had 100% of the power during a declared emergency.
“If Cooper has 100% of the power, then he has 100% of the responsibility,” Forest said.