GOVERNOR COOPER ANNOUNCES 10PM-5AM CURFEW STARTING FRIDAY: The 10 p.m. curfew means that everyone must stay at home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless they are traveling to or from work or traveling to obtain essential goods or services, such as food, fuel, medical care. People can also travel during curfew hours if they must provide care for a family member. This means that in addition to the current orders — requiring face masks, social distancing and business capacity limitations — retail stores, restaurants, entertainment venues and personal care businesses must close by 10 p.m. Cooper said on Tuesday that “we will do more if the trends do not improve.” This could mean more restrictions on restaurant dining, indoor entertainment or shopping, or further restrictions on retail business capacity.
LARRY HALL AND SUSI HAMILTON ARE EXITING COOPER'S CABINET: Two cabinet heads will be leaving Gov. Roy Cooper's administration as he starts a second term: Secretary of Military and Veterans Affairs Larry Hall and Secretary of Natural and Cultural Resources Susi Hamilton. Cooper's office announced both departures via news release Tuesday afternoon. Hamilton said she plans to "refocus my energy and efforts" on eastern North Carolina and that "plans are in process for my next endeavor," with more information to come in the next few weeks. No reason was given for Hall's departure, though the governor said in the release that many cabinet secretaries "were willing to work long hours for less pay or passed up jobs in the private sector to serve the state." Hall said in the release that the dedication of Department of Military and Veterans Affairs employees "has truly made this state the most military and veteran friendly state in the United States."
JEFF JACKSON HINTS AT RUNNING FOR U.S. SENATE SEAT IN 2022: “This would be an opportunity to help our state turn the page and raise our expectations for the type of leadership we deserve in the Senate,” Jackson, a Democrat, said in an email to supporters. “It’s important for the state, and the country. ... So here’s what I’m going to do: Marisa and I will talk about it with our kids over the holiday.” In an interview, Jackson, 38, said he plans to decide in January. Jackson would join a short list of Democrats interested in what will be an open seat. Republican Richard Burr has said he doesn’t plan to run for a fourth term. State Sen. Erica Smith also has announced her intention to run. She lost to Cal Cunningham in this year’s U.S. Senate primary. N.C. Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls said some “grassroots folks wanting to have a strong progressive candidate in North Carolina” have reached out to her about a potential Senate campaign.
SUPREME COURT SMACKS DOWN TRUMP EFFORT TO OVERTURN PENNSYLVANIA RESULTS: The court’s brief order denying a requested injunction provided no reasoning, nor did it note any dissenting votes. It was the first request to delay or overturn the results of last month’s presidential election to reach the court, and it appears that Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s latest nominee, took part in the case. The lawsuit was part of a blizzard of litigation and personal interventions Trump and his lawyers have waged to overturn victories by Biden in a handful of key states. But time is running out, and the electoral college is scheduled to meet in less than a week. The Pennsylvania petition was considered a long shot — it asked the court to take the rare step of wading into a dispute over state law decided by a state supreme court. But the justices’ curt dismissal does not bode well for other requests that involve overturning election results. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) on Tuesday filed a brash and sweeping complaint that asked the court to overturn Biden’s wins in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia. Legal experts called the suit highly unusual and said it raises several questions, including whether Texas has standing to bring a retroactive complaint over how other states enforce their election statutes. The Constitution says it is up to individual states to set the terms for elections.
TRUMP LACKEYS ARE MONITORING BIDEN TRANSITION MEETINGS, MAKING CAREER EMPLOYEES NERVOUS: Loyalists to President Trump have blocked transition meetings at some government agencies and are sitting in on discussions at other agencies between career civil servants and President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s transition teams, sometimes chilling conversations, several federal officials said. At the Environmental Protection Agency, political appointees have joined virtually every discussion between career staff members and Mr. Biden’s team, monitoring conversations on climate change, scientific research and other topics. At the State Department such drop-ins are happening on what Trump appointees define as an as-needed basis. On Tuesday Mr. Biden’s transition team was allowed for the first time into the National Security Agency, but at the United States Agency for Global Media, parent of Voice of America, the Trump-appointed leader is refusing to cooperate with the Biden transition team, two agency officials confirmed. “The norm is that the political people are not involved in the nuts and bolts of this,” said Michael E. Herz, a professor of administrative law at the Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. He called the Trump administration’s apparent determination to micromanage the transition process by overseeing meetings part of its broader plan to “milk their authority as long as they can and disrupt the new administration as much as they can.” Under the Presidential Transition Act, career employees play the primary role in managing the agency transitions, largely because they bring an institutional knowledge about the government functions and have been viewed as unpolitical stewards of the agencies they serve. No clear rules or guidelines, however, detail how the process should unfold.