A unanimous, all-Democratic three-judge panel of the N.C. Court of Appeals has ruled against David Prickett, the Office of State Human Resources employee who’s been targeted for dismissal ever since Democrat Roy Cooper replaced Republican Pat McCrory as governor.

An administrative law judge had ruled in Prickett’s favor and against the Cooper administration’s plans to fire him. The appellate panel reversed that ruling. Writing for the court, Judge John Arrowood explains that Prickett could not claim to be a career state employee with protection against dismissal.

The Career Status Law did not apply to petitioner, and even if it did, it has been struck down as unconstitutional. … Thus, petitioner at most was a probationary State employee at the time of his termination. As such, he was required to work in a non-exempt position for twelve consecutive months before he could attain career State employee status and thereby gain a protected property interest in his continued employment.