The State of North Carolina on Thursday filed notice of an appeal with the N.C. Supreme Court and asked the court to delay enforcing a recent lower-court ruling that said Davidson College's campus police cannot enforce state laws because it is a religious institution.

The state attorney general's office filed the papers on Thursday in response to an Aug. 17 ruling by the N.C. Court of Appeals in a case known as North Carolina vs. Yencer. The state says the ruling would "have the effect of disabling Davidson College's campus police from exercising the powers of sworn law enforcement officers, thereby disrupting their ability to ensure public safety and provide prompt emergency response on campus."

The attorney general's request for the stay says the ruling "creates a substantial problem" for the college, given that classes have already begun and athletic and other events are now beginning on campus.

It wasn't clear Thursday when the Supreme Court might decide whether to accept the case or grant a stay of the lower-court ruling.

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