RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina's new Democratic governor is moving quickly to put his stamp on a state appeals court that is a new flashpoint with the Republican-dominated General Assembly.
Gov. Roy Cooper's office says Republican Court of Appeals Judge Douglas McCullough resigned Monday morning, and a replacement backed by Democratic Party officials was appointed to the vacancy 15 minutes later.
McCullough was due to leave the court next month when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 72. His resignation Monday allowed Cooper to appoint John Arrowood to the seat.
The appointment comes three days after Cooper vetoed legislation decreasing the appeals court from 15 judges to 12, a move meant to block Cooper from appointing judges when three Republicans reach retirement age.
Lawmakers are expected to override Cooper's veto this week.