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General Assembly Overrides Cooper's Veto On Court of Appeals Reduction

NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly

The General Assembly has completed the override of the governor's veto of a measure reducing the state Court of Appeals from 15 judges to 12.

The Senate voted yesterday to cancel Democratic Governor Roy Cooper's veto. Cooper says the measure would increase the workload of the remaining judges. Cooper accused Republicans legislators of trying to keep the court in GOP hands by eliminating the judicial seats. The override marks the second in two days.

The measure prevent Cooper from filling the next three vacancies on the appellate court after the current judges' terms expire. The measure also moves certain trial court and family court cases into the jurisdiction of the court of appeals.

Cooper has said reducing the intermediate-level appeals court from 15 judges to 12 through attrition will increase the remaining judges' workloads. With a smaller court, the Democratic governor also won't be able to appoint replacements for Republican judges who could soon retire.

Republicans say a smaller court can handle the workload and will save taxpayer money.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jess is WUNC's Fletcher Fellow for Education Policy Reporting. Her reporting focuses on how decisions made at the North Carolina General Assembly affect the state's students, families, teachers and communities.
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