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Trump Surprised GOP Officials With Twitter Threat To Quit Charlotte

One of President Donald Trump's many targets on Memorial Day Weekend has been North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, who he says is moving too slowly on the state's reopening. Railing against Cooper on Twitter, Trump threatened to pull the 2020 Republican National Conventional out of Charlotte — and CNN is reporting that Republicans involved in the planning of the convention were "completely blindsided" by Trump's threat.

Trump tweeted, "Unfortunately, Democrat Governor, @RoyCooperNC is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed full attendance in the Arena. In other words, we would be spending millions of dollars building the Arena to a very high standard without even knowing if the Democrat Governor would allow the Republican Party to fully occupy the space."The president also asserted that Republicans planning to attend the Republican National Convention "must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied."

"If not, we will be reluctantly forced to find, with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site," Trump tweeted. "This is not something I want to do. Thank you, and I LOVE the people of North Carolina!"





According to CNN, Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, said that the RNC is moving "full steam ahead" with the convention — although she stressed that it must be an in-person event.

McDaniel asserted, "We do not think at this time we have to switch to an alternative plan, but of course, we will monitor circumstances and adjust accordingly. We will not be holding a virtual convention."

U.S. Civil Rights Commission Will Meet In North Carolina, Hotbed Of Voting Rights Struggle

Reprinted with permission from D.C. Report.

The much-derided commission  set up by Donald Trump to investigate bogus claims of voter fraud is now disbanded, but our nation’s independent commission on civil rights — founded more than 60 years ago — is meeting soon to talk about federal civil rights enforcement.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will  meet Feb. 2 in Raleigh, N.C., the state where the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked a trial court’s order to redraw the state’s congressional map in a gerrymandering case.

“From Reconstruction to the present, North Carolina has played a central role in the evolving story of voting rights in America,” the commission said in a statement announcing the meeting. The commission will feature testimony from the meeting in its report this year on voting rights.

Civil rights attorney Anita Earls, who founded a North Carolina nonprofit to protect minority voting rights, said she plans to talk about the 2016 and 2017 elections in North Carolina.

In 2016, supporters of former Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, claimed after he lost the gubernatorial race to Democrat Roy Cooper that convicted felons or people who had already voted cast ballots. At least 18 people were wrongfully accused of being felons ineligible to vote.

“Gov. McCrory has set a new standard for desperation in his attempts to undermine the results of an election he lost,” a Cooper spokesman said at the time.

Earls, who is seeking a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court, said she hopes some of the people affected by challenges will attend the meeting and speak about their experiences.

Other people scheduled to speak include Vanita Gupta, the former acting head of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department; Sherrilyn Ifill, the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; and Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.

The commission is also expected to talk about federal voting rights enforcement efforts and the impact of a 2013 Supreme Court case, Shelby County v. Holder, on the Department of Justice’s enforcement strategies and priorities.

The case invalidated the formula that determined which states and local governments with a history of discrimination had to get approval from the Department of Justice or a federal court before changing voting laws and procedures.

Since that decision, states that were once supervised by the Department of Justice, such as South Carolina and Texas, have used stricter voting rules that disproportionately affect young people and low-income minorities.

North Carolina, which was partially covered under the old formula, passed one of the toughest voting laws in the nation. McCrory signed the bill, which included a voter identification requirement, eliminated same-day voter registration and imposed other restrictions. A federal appeals court struck down parts of that law, noting that it targeted “African-Americans with almost surgical precision.”

Former President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 that established the bipartisan commission, and its findings helped shape the civil rights legislation of the 1960s. The commission’s eight members serve six-year terms.

PHOTO: Republican Pat McCrory tells supporters that the results of his gubernatorial contest against Democratic challenger Roy Cooper will be contested, in Raleigh, North Carolina,  November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake/File Photo

North Carolina Governor Gets Initial Win In Fight Over Cabinet

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Reuters) – A three-judge panel has sided at least temporarily with North Carolina Democratic Governor Roy Cooper in his fight against a Republican-backed attempt to curtail his powers by requiring legislative confirmation of cabinet appointments.

The law was among a series of measures approved by lawmakers in December limiting Cooper’s executive authority after he defeated incumbent Republican Governor Pat McCrory.

Cooper sued to block it, arguing that requiring Senate consent to his cabinet secretaries was unprecedented and unconstitutional.

In an order Tuesday evening, the trio of state judges said the governor was likely to succeed in his challenge.

“The court is absolutely correct in their decision and should not be intimidated by threats from legislative leaders,” Cooper said in a statement on Wednesday.

Eight of the 10 cabinet secretaries for the state have been appointed and sworn in.

The temporary restraining order halted a hearing set for Wednesday to review Cooper’s appointee for secretary of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Republican lawmakers vowed they would eventually meet to review the cabinet members’ qualifications and potential conflicts of interests.

Republicans have said such confirmation hearings were lawful and would serve as a check on executive power.

Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, both Republicans, said the judges were legislating from the bench and called on them to reverse their order.

“In a gross misreading of the Constitution and a blatant overstep of their Constitutional authority, three Superior Court judges attempted to dictate to the legislature when it could or could not hold committee meetings and what it could or could not consider in those meetings,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement.

“If these three men want to make laws, they should hang up their robes and run for a legislative seat.”

The judges said they would hear the governor’s motion for a preliminary injunction on Friday. A trial on the issue is scheduled for March 7.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Alistair Bell)

IMAGE: North Carolina Governor-elect Roy Cooper speaks to supporters at a victory rally the day after his Republican opponent and incumbent Pat McCrory conceded in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S., December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

Judge Blocks Law Limiting Incoming North Carolina Governor’s Power

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Reuters) – A North Carolina judge on Friday temporarily blocked a state law hours after incoming Democratic Governor Roy Cooper sued to void Republican-backed legislation lessening his control over state and county elections boards, local media reported.

Cooper’s transition team described the measure, which would have abolished the current state elections board on Sunday, when he will be sworn in during a private ceremony, as “unconstitutional legislative overreach.”

The law, enacted by the state’s Republican-dominated legislature during a special session this month, calls for the governor and legislature to appoint four members each to a new board evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. Previously, governors appointed a majority of members.

The measure also replaces three-member county elections boards, where the sitting governor’s party had the majority, with four-member boards made up of two Republicans and two Democrats each.

A temporary restraining order issued by a Wake County Superior Court judge will stop the law from taking effect on Sunday, WRAL.com reported.

Cooper’s lawsuit argues that the changes violate the state constitution’s separation of powers requirements by shifting control from the executive agency responsible for administering election laws to legislators, according to media reports.

The law was among a series of measures approved during a special session in mid-December to curtail Cooper’s executive authority before he succeeds outgoing Republican Governor Pat McCrory.

“This complex new law passed in just two days by the Republican legislature is unconstitutional and anything but bipartisan,” Cooper said in a statement. “A tie on a partisan vote would accomplish what many Republicans want: making it harder for North Carolinians to vote.”

McCrory, who trailed Cooper by about 10,000 votes when he conceded the race nearly four weeks after the Nov. 8 election, and other Republican leaders have argued the new elections law would help ensure a fair voting process.

Senate leader Phil Berger on Friday criticized Cooper’s legal action.

“Roy Cooper’s effort to stop the creation of a bipartisan board with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans to enforce elections and ethics laws may serve his desire to preserve his own political power, but it does not serve the best interests of our state,” Berger said in a statement.

(Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

IMAGE: North Carolina Governor-elect Roy Cooper speaks to supporters at a victory rally the day after his Republican opponent and incumbent Pat McCrory conceded in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S., December 6, 2016.  REUTERS/Jonathan Drake