Cooper v. BergerAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals upholding that trial court's decision to grant judgment on the pleadings in favor of certain members of the North Carolina General Assembly and against the Governor of the State of North Carolina, holding that the General Assembly did not overstep its constitutional authority by appropriating the federal block grant money in a manner that differed from the Governor's preferred method for distributing the funds.
In 2017, the Governor submitted a recommended budget to the General Assembly suggesting that funds derived from three specific federal block grant programs be spent in a particular manner. The General Assembly adopted Senate Bill 257, which became law as Session Law 2017-57. The Governor filed an amended complaint against certain legislative defendants challenging the constitutionality of the enacted state budget. The trial court granted the legislative defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the block grant funds at issue were subject to the General Assembly's appropriation authority; and (2) the enactment of Session Law 2017-57 did not violate the separation of powers or faithful execution clauses of the North Carolina State Constitution.