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North Carolina's legislative districts are set for the 2020 elections after the state Supreme Court refused on Friday to fast-track a redistricting appeal. That decision led the plaintiffs who successfully sued based on partisan bias claims to end their legal challenges.

The state's highest court denied the request by Common Cause and state Democrats to step in and hear their appeal on eight state House districts now, rather than require it go through the intermediate Court of Appeals first. The justices gave no reason in their one-sentence order.

Without the bypass to the state Supreme Court, any appeal would have resulted in a lengthy process that probably wouldn't have been resolved until the 2020 elections were over, making a ruling on the districts' final shapes largely moot. So the plaintiffs have decided to quit, focusing instead on what their 2018 litigation accomplished.

"We won't appeal further," said Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause North Carolina. "We're pleased that our landmark victory ... has clearly established that partisan gerrymandering is illegal in North Carolina."

A panel of trial-court judges ordered the Republican-controlled General Assembly to redraw several dozen House and Senate districts that they declared had been enacted in 2017 with the goal of preserving GOP majorities above all else. That violated the state constitution, the judges ruled. The legislature approved replacement boundaries in September.

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