Justice’s dissent helps explains stakes in N.C. political tug of war

Carolina Journal – It would be easy to dismiss the recurring political battles between Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and the Republican-led General Assembly as pure partisan posturing.

Easy. And wrong.

A dissent from a case decided earlier this year in the N.C. Supreme Court offers a clue about why leaders of the executive and legislative branches have pushed their feud to the foreground of Tar Heel politics.

Sure, Democrats and Republicans are gearing up for another election in November. Much of what they’re saying and doing now is designed to win support for their respective “teams” this fall. (Why else would the governor launch a publicity tour touting a statewide school bond more than a week after lawmakers left Raleigh — shutting down any possibility of placing that bond on the November ballot?)

But regardless of partisan calculations, much of what divides the governor and his legislative foes stems from a fundamental disagreement. Cooper and state House and Senate leaders disagree about their respective roles in running state government. These differences could divide legislative leaders from either major party from a governor of either party.

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