UPDATE: The Senate also voted to override Cooper’s veto. The vote, taken Wednesday night, was 34-15. House Bill 239 will become law, pending any legal challenge by the governor.

By a 73-44 vote, the state House rejected Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of House Bill 239, a measure reducing the number of judges on the North Carolina Court of Appeals from 15 to 12.

If the Senate follows the House, then the size of the court would be reduced gradually as judges reach mandatory retirement age, die, or leave the bench for other reasons.

Over the past few decades, the court has grown. It had six judges in 1967, when the court was created. It expanded to nine seats in 1969, 12 in 1977, and 15 in 2000.

At press time, the vetoed bill had not been placed on the Senate calendar for consideration.