North Carolina: Law stripping gov.-elect's power blocked

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The Latest on a lawsuit by Democratic Gov.-Elect Roy Cooper to block a Republican-backed law diminishing his control over deciding election disputes. (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

A North Carolina judge is temporarily blocking a new Republican-backed law that strips the incoming Democratic governor of his control over election boards just before he takes office.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Don Stephens ruled Friday that the risk to free and fair elections justified stopping the law from taking effect this weekend until it could be reviewed more closely. Stephens plans to review the law Thursday.

Gov.-elect. Roy Cooper sued on Friday to block the law, passed two weeks ago. It ends the control governors exert over statewide and county election boards. The lawsuit says the Republican-led General Assembly's action is unconstitutional because it violates separation of powers by giving legislators too much control over how election laws are administered.

Cooper takes office Sunday.

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1:20 p.m.

North Carolina's incoming Democratic governor has sued over a new law passed by Republican legislators to limit his powers as he prepares to take office.

Gov.-elect Roy Cooper filed the lawsuit Friday over the law that ends the control governors exert over statewide and county election boards.

Cooper's lawsuit asks a Wake County judge to block the law from taking effect Sunday, when he'll be sworn into office.

The lawsuit says the Republican-led legislature's radical changes two weeks ago to the administration of election laws are unconstitutional because they violate separation of powers.

The changes convert the state elections board from one that governors have controlled into a bipartisan body with equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats. County election boards would have two members from each party, rather than the current three members with a majority from the governor's party.

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