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North Carolina law on judicial primary before appeals panel

RALEIGH (AP) A North Carolina law that canceled primary elections this year for state judges of all kinds is back in court.

Three judges of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, scheduled oral arguments March 20 between Democratic Party lawyers that sued over the law and Republican legislative leaders about a lower court ruling.

A U.S. District Court judge in Greensboro had blocked temporarily part of the law that eliminated primary elections for state appellate judges but kept intact the part canceling primaries for trial judge seats. But a 4th Circuit panel last month allowed the entire law to remain enforceable while the appeals court considered whether she should have issued a preliminary injunction at all.

Whatever the panel decides, there’s a trial on the law’s constitutionality in June.

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