NC Supreme Court to weigh in on stripping governor’s powers lawsuit

FILE- In this Dec. 15, 2016 file photo, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper holds a press conference in Raleigh, N.C. North Carolina Republican lawmakers said Wednesday night, March 29, 2017, that they have an agreement with Gov. Cooper on legislation to resolve a standoff over the state's "bathroom bill." GOP leaders announced the new legislation would be debated and voted on Thursday. (Chris Seward/The News & Observer via AP, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s highest court for the first time wades into the long-running effort by Republican state legislators to strip away as many powers as possible from new Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

The state Supreme Court hears from attorneys Monday over Cooper’s claim that a law diminishing the governor’s authority to oversee election operations is unconstitutional.

The law gives Republicans an advantage in even-numbered years when national and statewide contests bring out the most voters and it could allow the state’s GOP elections executive to stay in her job for years.

The lawsuit is part of the ongoing political battle that began after Cooper narrowly beat incumbent GOP Gov. Pat McCrory last year. GOP lawmakers have sought to defang Cooper’s powers ever since.