The N.C. Supreme Court has ruled that legislators overreached in 2014 in creating commissions to carry out executive-branch functions, the Charlotte Observer reported.
Gov. Pat McCrory and several former governors had sued fellow Republicans N.C. Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore and their appointed members of the coal ash commission.
Justices said in their ruling the challenged provisions violate the separation of powers clause. “In short, the legislative branch has exerted too much control over commissions that have final executive authority. By doing so, it has prevented the Governor from performing his express constitutional duty to take care that the laws are faithfully executed.”
The 6-1 ruling, with Paul Newby dissenting, stopped short of applying to all current and future commissions. It applies to the coal ash commission, oil and gas commission and mining commission, which were created at the same time.
The governor’s lawyer said the ruling means members of three commissions will have to be re-appointed.