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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Attorneys for North Carolina lawmakers say a Supreme Court judge shouldn't have to sit out a lawsuit challenging political districts favoring Republicans even though his re-election relied heavily on support from some of the same GOP leaders named as defendants.

The attorneys for the Republican legislative leaders responded Monday to a legal motion saying Justice Paul Newby should be recused because heavy partisan spending on his re-election campaign undermines his impartiality.

Thomas Farr and Phillip Strach are working with Attorney General Roy Cooper's office against the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP and other groups seeking Newby's recusal. The conservative justice won re-election with the help of nearly $2 million in political ads purchased by GOP-aligned organizations.

Attorneys for legislative leaders say that doesn't mean Newby's fairness should be doubted.

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