The Republican-controlled NC senate subpoenaed Cooper’s cabinet pick of Larry Hall for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs on February 23.
Hall, a former legislator and Marine Corps veteran, has become just a piece in the ongoing chess game between the Democrat controlled executive branch and Republican dominated General Assembly.
The Republican controlled legislature subpoenaed Larry Hall because he refused to come to the first three confirmation hearings.
While Hall has not commented on his reason for missing the three confirmation hearings, there is one snag for the General Assembly: Governor Roy Cooper never officially submitted Larry Hall as his nominee for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
While a three judge panel recently denied Cooper a preliminary injunction to stop the hearings, they recently reported in a six page order that “The Advice and Consent Amendment require the Governor to begin the process by first notifying the Senate of the nominee, and the Senate cannot begin the advice and consent process until the Governor submits a nominee.”
At the moment, the ball remains in Cooper’s court, to formally submit his nominees.
The confirmation meetings themselves were highly contested by Governor Cooper, because they represented a standoff between the executive branch and the legislative branch over who had the authority to approve the governor’s Cabinet appointments.
Cooper had previously sued to challenge the Senate’s authority to approve his nominations. The Republican-controlled legislature put the arduous confirmation process in place after the former attorney general’s election as governor last November.
“This nomination hearing process violates a court ruling last week,” a Cooper press release read, “which found that the nomination process cannot begin until the governor has submitted his nominations, the deadline of which is May 15th.”
Senator Wesley Meredith (R-Fayetteville) who chaired the committee confirmation hearing of Hall, believes that Hall should deviate from Governor Cooper’s instructions.
“Hall should attend even if Cooper tells him not to,” Senator Wesley Meredith said to the News & Observer. “Failure to do so would provide legal reason not to confirm him because it would indicate Hall is not willing to follow the law. We are very disappointed…There are consequences when a state official refuses to follow the law.”
Senator Floyd McKissick Jr. (D-Durham) tried multiple times to speak during the confirmation hearing, but was ignored and barred from speaking by Senator Meredith.
“This should never have been held.” McKissick said to NC Policy Watch. “They’re wasting time on things that are absolutely just political charades.”