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North Carolina Governor-elect sues over law stripping his powers

Governor-elect Roy Cooper holds a press conference to complain about efforts by Republicans to cut the power of the Governor's office during the special session of the General Assembly that is going on a few blocks away on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016.

A North Carolina judge is temporarily blocking a new Republican-backed law that strips the incoming Democratic governor of his control over election boards just before he takes office.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Don Stephens ruled Friday that the risk to free and fair elections justified stopping the law from taking effect this weekend until it could be reviewed more closely. Stephens plans to review the law Thursday.

Gov.-elect. Roy Cooper sued on Friday to block the law, passed two weeks ago. It ends the control governors exert over statewide and county election boards. The lawsuit says the Republican-led General Assembly's action is unconstitutional because it violates separation of powers by giving legislators too much control over how election laws are administered.

Cooper takes office Sunday.

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