North Carolina Republican lawmakers who
hold veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate convened a special
session to weaken Governor-elect Roy Cooper's powers.
Republican Governor Pat McCrory lost to
Cooper by a narrow 10,000 votes. He and other Republicans raised
claims of voter fraud in an attempt to delay conceding.
GOP leaders have proposed cutting back
the number of state government employees Cooper can hire at will to
300 from 1,500, transfer the power to appoint trustees to the
University of North Carolina from the governor to the General
Assembly, and require Senate confirmation for cabinet appointments,
News & Observer reported. Also proposed is stripping the
governor of control of one state office and handing it to the
lieutenant governor, who happens to be a Republican.
Some Democrats have called the
proposals a “coup.”
During an appearance on Meet the
Press, Cooper suggested that the changes were unconstitutional.
“The whole process of how they called
themselves into this second special session is questionable,”
Cooper told host Chuck Todd. “So potentially everything that they
do at this point is unconstitutional.”
During a news conference, Cooper
threatened to file a legal challenge against the GOP-led Legislature
over the proposals to limit his powers before he takes office.
“If I believe these measures are
unconstitutional, they will see me in court and they don't have a
good track record there,” Cooper said, adding that lawmakers were
attempting to make major changes to the state's laws “in the dark
of the night with little debate.”