Showdown nears between GOP, Democratic governor on judiciary

AP News
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Posted: Mar 16, 2017 3:35 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper faces another showdown with a GOP-controlled legislature determined to weaken his power, this time by targeting his ability to shape the state's trial courts.

The recently elected Democrat has until Saturday to veto legislation to make state trial court elections officially partisan again. Other bills awaiting Senate approval would remove his authority to appoint replacement judges.

If the Republicans override his wishes, it would mark a personal defeat for Cooper, who as a state Senate leader in 1996 championed the legislation that made elections officially nonpartisan for most trial judges.

Cooper hasn't yet promised to veto the bill that has reached his desk, but he told reporters last week he has "real concerns about throwing judicial elections back to the partisan arena." His office said it would have a comment later Thursday.