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Judges decline to end lawsuits against NC congressional maps

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GREENSBORO (AP) -- A panel of federal judges has allowed a pair of lawsuits to continue that allege North Carolina's congressional districts are illegal because Republican lawmakers used excessive partisanship in drawing them.

The three judges refused Friday to grant the wishes of North Carolina legislative leaders and dismiss the lawsuits against the 2016 boundaries for the state's 13 congressional seats.

The League of Women Voters of North Carolina, national election reform group Common Cause and Democratic voters aren't challenging the maps on familiar allegations of racial gerrymandering. Instead, they focus on political considerations, arguing the lines unduly discriminate against Democrats and are biased toward Republicans, who won 10 of the seats in November.

A group representing some plaintiffs says Friday's decision sets the stage for a trial beginning in late June.

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