Sandhills_Sentinel

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s intermediate-level appeals court will stay at 15 judges as Gov. Roy Cooper signed legislation that repeals a 2017 law that would have reduced the seats to 12 over time.

Cooper announced Thursday that he had signed the law , which Republicans controlling the General Assembly approved quickly over the past several days.

GOP leaders said they sought the repeal because it would end litigation Cooper filed challenging the previous law. The Republicans won the first legal round, but oral arguments at the state Supreme Court were next.

The 2017 law would have prevented the governor from appointing replacements for the next three court vacancies due to retirement or other reasons because the seats would be eliminated instead. The first such vacancy would have occurred at the end of March.

Copyright 2019, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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