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NC judges deny requests to block elections under new maps

A panel of North Carolina judges has refused to block the latest legislative and congressional maps from being used for the 2022 elections. The three judges on Friday denied preliminary injunctions in a pair of lawsuits challenging  boundaries that the Republican-controlled legislature passed last month. The decision means candidate filing for the March 8 primary should begin at noon Monday as scheduled. The decision can be appealed. Plaintiffs in the lawsuits call the lines “extreme partisan” gerrymanders that put Republicans in the driver’s seat to retain their General Assembly majorities and win 10 of the state’s 14 U.S. House seats. Republicans say the maps are lawful.