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After being subpoenaed, governor's cabinet pick nearing approval

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RALEIGH (AP) -- A Republican-dominated Senate committee is approving one of new Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's picks to run a state agency after the first confirmation hearing in living memory for a member of any governor's cabinet.

Military & Veterans Affairs Secretary Larry Hall won committee approval Thursday after he obeyed a subpoena demanding his attendance. He had skipped three previous hearings.

Hall's earlier no-shows were part of Gov. Roy Cooper's resistance to a new law passed by GOP legislators that requires his Cabinet appointments to win Senate approval. It's one of a series of measures Republicans have taken to drain Cooper's powers.

A three-judge panel next week considers whether the law is constitutional.

Hall's confirmation faces two more levels of Senate approval unless courts knock down the law.

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