• State lawyers: There's no constitutional right for primaries

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina officials say there's no constitutional obligation to hold primary elections, so a law canceling them for state judgeships this year should be upheld.

    Attorneys for the state and legislative leaders made the argument in a legal filing Friday before the federal judge who will soon decide whether to restore primaries for trial and appeals courts.

    Democrats argue in a lawsuit that having no primaries eliminates the right of their voters to make informed decisions about candidates. But the state's lawyers wrote state and county parties can still organize supporters and endorse candidates.

    The law directs judicial candidates file for office in June. Other candidates with primaries file in February.

    U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles set a Jan. 24 hearing on Democrats' request to restore the primaries.

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