By Associated Press - Wednesday, February 8, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The Latest on the power struggle between Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and the Republican-controlled legislature (all times local):

12:10 p.m.

The Republican leader of a North Carolina General Assembly committee says lawmakers will scrutinize Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s Cabinet choices, even though judges have temporarily halted a new Senate confirmation requirement.

A Senate committee had scheduled a Wednesday meeting to question one of Cooper’s department secretaries. But before the hearing began, a judicial panel blocked a new law that requires the secretaries to receive support from a majority of senators.

The committee met briefly and adjourned. Cooper’s secretary for military and veterans’ affairs didn’t show up. Committee co-chairman Sen. Wesley Meredith read a statement in which he vowed to get answers about the qualifications of secretaries, which he says the state Constitution allows.

Cooper has sued over the new law, saying the legislature has overstepped its authority.


10:40 a.m.

A North Carolina court has temporarily blocked a state law passed by the GOP-controlled legislature that strips the Democratic governor of his some of his powers.

The law required Senate confirmation for the governor’s Cabinet members, which previous governors have not needed. The law was approved in December, just two weeks before Roy Cooper took over as governor.

A three-judge panel released the order Wednesday, just before state senators scheduled a hearing with the secretary of Cooper’s veterans’ affairs department to come before a committee to answer questions.

Republican lawmakers say the state Constitution gives the senators “advice and consent” powers over gubernatorial appointments. Cooper says the law is unconstitutional.

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