North Carolina Gov.-Elect Sues Over GOP Power Grab

(CN) – North Carolina’s incoming Democratic governor on Friday sued to block a new law passed by the Republican controlled legislature earlier this month to limit his powers as he prepares to take office.

In a complaint filed in Wake County, North Carolina Friday morning, Gov.-elect Roy Cooper, the state’s current attorney general, asks the court to throw out the law that wrests control over statewide and county election boards from the governor and places it in the hands of the legislature.

The law is set to take effect Sunday, the day Cooper is sworn in.

Cooper argues that the changes approved by the legislature two weeks ago violate the concept of separation of powers and are therefore unconstitutional.

He also argues that the law will have far-reaching implications for all residents of North Carolina because it creates numerous obstacles to voting.

“This complex new law passed in just two days by the Republican legislature is unconstitutiotnal and anything but bipartisan,” Cooper said in a statement posted on Twitter. “A tie on a partisan vote would accomplish what many Republicans want: making it harder for North Carolinians to vote.

“It will result in elections with longer lines, reduced early voting, fewer voting places, little enforcement of campaign finance laws, indecision by officials and mass confusion,” he said.

But the Republican leader in the state Senate, Phil Berger, released a statement saying Cooper was trying to preserve his own power, not do what’s best for voters.

“Given the recent weeks-long uncertainty surrounding his own election, the governor-elect should understand better than anyone why North Carolinians deserve a system they can trust will settle election outcomes fairly and without the taint of partisanship,” he said.

A Wake County judge was expected to hear arguments on the complaint Friday afternoon.

Cooper won the November election against outgoing Republican Gov. Pat McCrory by about 10,000 votes. The transition was made bumpier by a protracted debate over vote-counting.

McCrory didn’t concede until a month after the election.

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