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State Supreme Court dismisses Cooper’s request to halt already merged Elections, Ethics Board

Gov. Roy Cooper speaks at a press conference.

The state Supreme Court agreed to take on Gov. Roy Cooper’s appeal over the State Board of Elections and State Ethics Commission merger but it will not grant a temporary stay to halt the new agency from operating.

Newly elected Justice Michael Morgan wrote the order dismissing Cooper’s motion for temporary stay as moot. The court, he wrote, must preserve the status quo during the expedited consideration of the case.

“The status quo as of the date of this order is to be maintained,” Morgan wrote. “Therefore, until further order of this Court, the parties are prohibited from taking further action regarding the unimplemented portions of the act that establishes a new ‘Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement.'”

The state’s highest court on Wednesday announced it would expedite Cooper v. Berger, bypassing a review from the State Court of Appeals. The case is set for oral argument at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 28.

The lawsuit is over Senate Bill 68, which merges the functions of the State Board of Elections and State Ethics Commission, along with campaign finance and lobbying functions.

You can read the court’s order dismissing the motion for temporary stay here.

Cooper’s spokesman, Ford Porter, released the following statement after the dismissal:

“We’re pleased the Supreme Court agrees with Governor Cooper that this legal process needs to be allowed to play out and that members should not be appointed to the proposed new board while that happens. This ruling puts on hold any further actions to merge the elections and ethics boards until these critical issues get decided, and we look forward to making our case on August 28 to stop this backdoor effort to suppress voters.”

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