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Suit Over North Carolina Legislative Maps Stays In State Court

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Litigation challenging North Carolina legislative districts on arguments they excessively favor Republicans to the point of violating the state constitution will remain in state court.

A federal judge Wednesday ordered the case stay in Wake County Superior Court, where Democrats and election reform advocates filed their partisan gerrymandering lawsuit in November. U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan wrote she'd explain her reasoning later.

Last month, Republican lawmakers sought to move the lawsuit to federal court because they said the way plaintiffs wanted House and Senate maps redrawn conflict with federal laws. The plaintiffs said no such conflict exists and seek a state trial in April.

One GOP senator said last month Democrats ultimately want the case heard before the state Supreme Court, where five of the seven justices will be registered Democrats.