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Cooper, Forest lawyers argue over governor’s COVID-19 powers

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest are heading to court over whether some of Cooper’s COVID-19 executive orders should be blocked because other elected officials didn’t consent to them.
A state judge scheduled online arguments for Tuesday between lawyers for Forest and Cooper. The two are running against each other for governor this fall.
Forest sued the governor last month, saying Cooper’s unilateral orders shuttering businesses, limiting assemblies and mandating face coverings in public needed the concurrence of the Council of State. State attorneys representing Cooper say the governor didn’t require the council’s OK because of his authority using other emergency powers.
Forest wants the COVID-19 orders blocked temporarily by Judge Jim Gale, but Cooper’s lawyers say doing so could cause a wave of new coronavirus cases, threatening public health. Forest says he just wants Cooper the follow the law when it comes to the pandemic.

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