A three-judge Superior Court panel has sided with N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson in his court battle with the State Board of Education. The battle stems over a 2016 state law that shifts some powers from the board to Johnson.

The panel issued its two-page ruling Friday afternoon. It rejects the appointed state board’s argument that the new law violated the N.C. Constitution, ruling that “the State Board has failed to satisfy its burden of proof as to the facial unconstitutionality of any provision of the statute.”

Anticipating an appeal, judges have blocked implementation of their own ruling for 60 days.

Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, responded to the ruling. “Voters elected Superintendent Mark Johnson based on his platform of strengthening our state’s public schools, and I’m pleased the court recognized the constitutionality of the law and that our superintendent should be able to execute the platform voters elected him to do,” Berger said in an emailed statement.