'The biggest irony in North Carolina politics': A look at Cooper's veto predicament
A younger Roy Cooper was the architect of a bill that gave the governor veto power. He’s now experiencing the limits of that authority.
Today for The Assembly, I took a deep dive into the history of the veto in North Carolina. The story was prompted by an interesting factoid someone told me about in passing.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper now faces what may be his greatest political predicament yet. He’s poised to veto his first bills of the new legislative session in the coming days, and the survival of those vetoes will depend on 49 House Democrats staying united in not overriding him. Unlike most states, North Carolina doesn’t have a two-thirds override threshold. Here, it’s three-fifths.
And Cooper won’t have a say in redistricting when GOP lawmakers likely further entrench their political power through new voting maps. North Carolina’s governor can’t strike down voting maps, constitutional amendments, resolutions or local bills.
The architect of such limited veto powers? Then-state Senator Roy Cooper.
“I always bring this up as the biggest irony in North Carolina politics,” said Chris Cooper, a Western Carolina University political scientist. “Past Roy Cooper tied current Roy Cooper's hands behind his back. If he had written a different kind of veto, we'd have a very different North Carolina.”
You can check out the full story here.
Let’s dive into how the veto came to be, why it matters today and what the limited powers mean going forward:
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