RALEIGH, N.C. — The Latest on the legal fight between Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican legislative leaders over the regulation state elections and ethics rules (all times local):
The North Carolina Supreme Court has refused Gov. Roy Cooper’s requests to accelerate legal action stemming from the justices’ ruling last week favoring Cooper over the composition of a combined state elections and ethics board.
The court on Friday denied motions by Cooper’s attorneys that would have sped up the process by which the court’s decision would be finalized. His lawyers had said granting their motions would have helped seat a new elections board quickly.
The one-sentence denials provided no explanation for the court’s decisions, which means the ruling won’t be forwarded to a lower court until Feb. 15, three days after candidate filing begins. The lower court will issue its own ruling on how last week’s majority opinion affects the challenged elections and ethics board laws.
The North Carolina Republican Party says Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has no authority to name a new state elections board because a lower court still must review a Supreme Court ruling favoring him.
The state GOP wrote Cooper on Thursday cautioning him against action because there’s no current law letting him appoint board members following last week’s decision by justices.
A Supreme Court majority ruled the Republican-controlled legislature prevented Cooper from performing his duties by requiring half of a combined elections and ethics board include GOP-recommended appointees. Republican attorney Thomas Stark told Cooper the party’s previous board nominations also are now withdrawn.
Cooper’s lawyers have asked the Supreme Court to speed the process finalizing their decision. Cooper says a board is needed soon because candidate filing begins Feb. 12.