Forest files lawsuit challenging N.C. governor's orders

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has filed his lawsuit challenging Gov. Roy Cooper's decisions to shutter businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic without getting the backing of other elected officials.

Forest officially sued the Democratic governor in Wake Superior Court on Wednesday, nearly a week after Forest signaled he'd do so. The Republican lieutenant governor, who is tryng to unseat Cooper in November, had to jump over legal hurdles to sue without using the Attorney General's Office to represent him.

Forest wants voided six of Cooper's executive orders issued since March because Cooper didn't obtain “concurrence” from the Council of State for his actions. His latest order also mandated people wear face coverings in public.

Without addressing the lawsuit specifially, Cooper told reporters Wednesday his administration has followed the law while making health and safety decisions. Even if Cooper doesn't believe council approval was necessary, Forest's lawsuit says, the governor failed to follow other rules that give his state health director power to limit movement.

The lawsuit seeks a quick injunction barring enforcement of Cooper's executive orders until he receives support from a majority of council members.

Other lawsuits filed by business owners challenging Cooper’s orders have been unsuccessful to date.