North Carolina: “Cooper, NAACP, environmentalists fail to win quick freeze on constitutional amendments”

News & Observer:

Gov. Roy Cooper failed Tuesday afternoon to get a temporary freeze on two proposed constitutional amendments he has called legislative power grabs, with a Superior Court judge declaring that a three-judge panel should have the first chance to decide.

The Democratic governor is seeking to block two amendments that he said were written to mislead voters. The amendments would continue a trend of legislative power shifts that began even before Cooper was sworn in as governor in January 2017.

Meanwhile, the state NAACP and an environmental group called Clear Air Carolina are suing to keep four amendments from appearing on this fall’s ballots.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway said he would urge the state Supreme Court chief justice to appoint a three-judge panel quickly to decide both cases. The state is facing a ballot-printing deadline, and the Legislature wants the six proposed amendments on it.

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