Roy Cooper, a Democratic state attorney general surrounded by conservative Republicans who control North Carolina state government, is in an awkward position, says the Los Angeles Times. He has publicly condemned GOP-sponsored laws on voter identification and gay marriage, yet must defend those same laws in court. Since November, when Republicans seized control of the governor’s mansion and Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction, lawmakers have passed a flurry of laws reflecting conservative views on taxes, the environment, education and abortion.
Writing last week in a Huffington Post op-ed, Cooper accused Republicans of destroying North Carolina’s reputation as a leader of the progressive South. “It’s as if the tea party created its own playground of extremist fantasies,” he wrote. Cooper, expected to run for governor in 2016, says he will defend in court laws he personally opposes. But he says he will also continue to criticize the public policy behind those laws.