RALEIGH, N.C. — A three-judge panel says it will not block a North Carolina law merging oversight of state elections, ethics, lobbying and campaign finance laws into a single agency.

The same three-judge panel that two weeks ago dismissed Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s lawsuit against legislative Republicans said Thursday the law will stay in effect while Cooper appeals.

The law takes away a chunk of Cooper’s authority over managing elections. The new elections, ethics and campaign finance board has an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, but a Republican will head it during presidential election years.

The judicial panel’s earlier ruling means that the old state elections board is extinct but the new, combined version has no members until Cooper appoints some.