North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) lost his lawsuit Friday against the Republican-lead General Assembly to keep two state constitutional amendments off the fall ballot which would transfer power from the governor to the assembly, according to a report from the local News & Observer.
Cooper immediately appealed the decision and is hoping to win his case before the state comes up against federal ballot printing deadlines.
The two amendments in question would weaken the governor’s authority in the spheres of judicial appointments and the makeup of the North Carolina Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement. Per the News & Observer, lawmakers have attempted to alter the Board before—by removing its ninth, politically impartial member—but the state Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional, prompting the attempt to amend the constitution.
Cooper’s lawyers reportedly argue that voters will be ignorant of this previous decision, as the history will be omitted from the generally vague ballot propositions. Cooper won his first case in this matter when the court sided with him that the amendments and ballot questions had to be rewritten in a clearer way.
Republicans are accusing Cooper of undermining the will and agency of the voters, while Cooper and his allies argue that GOP Assembly members are trying to fool their constituents into giving them more power will ballot propositions written in opaque and bureaucratic language.
All eyes are on the appeals court as the state hurtles towards crucial ballot printing deadlines.