The North Carolina Court of Appeals should remain at 15 judges with legislation now heading to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk that repeals a 2017 law Republicans pushed that would reduce its seats to 12.
The House gave final legislative approval to the measure on Wednesday. It should end litigation Cooper filed challenging the law, which directs three judgeships be eliminated as vacancies arise. No eliminations have yet occurred.
A trial court panel upheld the law last spring. The litigation was expected before the state Supreme Court on Monday. Those arguments were postponed at the request of GOP lawmakers and Cooper. Their court filing said Cooper would likely sign the repeal legislation.
Democrats hold a strong majority on the Supreme Court, raising uncertainty whether the 2017 law would be upheld.