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Lawmakers again asking Supreme Court to step in

(WTVD photo)

North Carolina Republican redistricting leaders say they'll go again to the U.S. Supreme Court to stop a ruling by federal judges, this one involving the state's legislative districts.

Redistricting committee chairmen Rep. David Lewis and Sen. Ralph Hise confirmed Friday their plans to appeal to the Supreme Court a three-judge panel's order approving changes by a court-appointed expert to House and Senate districts. The judges said they should be used in this year's elections. Candidate filing begins next month.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court delayed an order by another lower-court panel telling legislators to draw a new congressional map by next week.

U.S. Circuit Judge Jim Wynn is on both judicial panels. Hise and Lewis contends Wynn is "attempting to create chaos and confusion" in state elections by his rulings.

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3:10 p.m.

Federal judges have approved North Carolina legislative districts redrawn by an expert they hired to address their concerns about continued racial bias with some boundaries and new constitutional violations.

The three-judge panel signed off Friday on changes made by a Stanford University law professor appointed as a special master. The changes to two dozen House and Senate districts would be used in this fall's elections.

The court brought in the expert to redo maps approved last summer by the Republican-controlled General Assembly after the same judges ruled districts initially approved in 2011 were illegal racial gerrymanders.

GOP legislative leaders say the maps approved in August were lawful and criticized the judges for hiring the special master. They have said they plan to appeal Friday's decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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