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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The North Carolina Supreme Court has again declined to force a colleague to recuse himself from upcoming redistricting arguments because of spending by groups supporting his re-election campaign last year.

The justices announced Friday they had dismissed a motion by Democratic voters and several groups to remove Associate Justice Paul Newby from hearing the challenges to legislative and congressional district boundaries. No reason was given.

A Republican group interested in keeping the maps gave more than $1 million to another group that in turn donated to support Newby’s re-election. The money wasn’t given directly to Newby’s campaign.

The motion’s authors said previous rulings and the judicial conduct code required Newby to withdraw. Attorneys for the state disagreed.

A similar motion was thrown out last year over a preliminary redistricting matter.

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