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5 ex-North Carolina governors gather to oppose 2 amendments

RALEIGH (AP) North Carolina’s five living former governors are meeting to oppose constitutional amendments on November ballots that would swing powers involving judicial vacancies and state boards from the executive branch to the legislature.

Democrats Jim Hunt, Mike Easley and Beverly Perdue and Republicans Jim Martin and Pat McCrory are holding a news conference at the old Capitol building in Raleigh.

They are expected to speak out about two referendums submitted by the General Assembly that critics say amount to a legislative power grab. GOP lawmakers defend the amendments as bringing more transparency to filling judgeships and clarifying what appointment authority the legislature has held historically.

Current Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper won’t be participating but has sued to keep the questions off the ballot. A court hearing is being held Aug. 15.

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