A state judicial panel says questions on two new proposed amendments to the North Carolina Constitution should remain on November ballots.

Three trial judges unanimously denied Friday a motion sought by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to block the amendments. A quick appeal to the state Supreme Court is expected.

A majority on the same judicial panel last week prevented referendums for previous versions of the amendments the Republican-controlled General Assembly approved from going on ballots. That prompted legislators to submit slightly different amendments and questions.

Cooper's lawyers argued those questions still were misleading. But attorneys for GOP lawmakers said the new referendums are clearly written.

The amendments — if voters approve them — would swing control over judicial vacancies and state election board membership from the governor to the legislature.

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