NC Supreme Court to hear case for stripping Gov. Cooper of powers

Roy Cooper takes the oath of office for North Carolina governor administered by Chief Justice Mark Martin as Cooper's wife and daughters look on. (Photo: Flickr/Roy Cooper)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s highest court for the first time wades into the long-running effort by Republican state legislators to strip away as many powers as possible from new Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

The state Supreme Court hears from attorneys Monday over Cooper’s claim that a law diminishing the governor’s authority to oversee election operations is unconstitutional. The law gives Republicans an advantage in even-numbered years when national and statewide contests bring out the most voters and it could allow the state’s GOP elections executive to stay in her job for years.

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The lawsuit is part of the ongoing political battle that began after Cooper narrowly beat incumbent GOP Gov. Pat McCrory last year. GOP lawmakers have sought to defang Cooper’s powers ever since.