By GARY D. ROBERTSON
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A panel of state judges says a recent North Carolina Supreme Court ruling favoring Gov. Roy Cooper means only a small portion of a 2017 law he challenged that combined the state ethics and elections boards is struck down.
Monday's unanimous order by three trial court judges is a victory for Republicans at the General Assembly who last month passed small changes related to the combined board's membership and Cooper's powers.
GOP leaders believed that was enough to comply with the Supreme Court ruling. Cooper's lawyers had argued the Supreme Court ruling meant the judges should void the entire law. That would have opened the door to Cooper's wishes and revert to separate elections and ethics boards, and Democrats getting a majority of elections board seats.
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