Phillip Stucky, DCNF
The Republican-controlled general assembly in North Carolina passed a series of laws last week that aimed to reduce the power of the governor, a move that Democratic strategists quickly identified with Republican President-elect Donald Trump, according to a Monday report in The Week.
Democrats assert that Republican actions amount to an “iron grip” over the state of North Carolina, and warn that the moves are a “potential test run” on the limits of power nationwide. The only problem is, the North Carolina governing body is only continuing a trend the assembly has followed for decades, and it’s a tradition that Democrats themselves started.
“But their party and their president-elect are actually quite unpopular. The agenda taking shape for a Trump administration is even more so. Chances of an electoral backlash are very good. So to cling to power, Republicans will likely cheat,” Ryan Cooper wrote in the article.
The point of the article is that the North Carolina General Assembly is the proving ground for how Trump can negate Democratic power nationwide. The only problem with this theory is that North Carolina legislatures have been engaged in this type of action for decades, since 1984.
State house Democrats attempted to greatly reduce the power of the governor in the state at that time, and Gov. Martin took the actions to court, and eventually won.
Democrats tried again, prompting outgoing Gov. Pat McCrory to sue as well, and his argument held up in court. The actions of Republicans in North Carolina represent a continuing statewide drama, but not a mad power grab that will turn American into a dystopian wasteland.
Former governor of North Carolina Jim Hunt, a Democrat, spoke against the practice of gutting the executive branch before a new governor, regardless of party. “I am very, very concerned,” four-term Democrat Hunt told the Observer. “I’m afraid if allowed to stand, it will result in education being much less effective in North Carolina, hurting the people and economy of our state.”
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