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Judge says NC lawmakers can't ignore subpoenas

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Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A federal trial judge has declined to side with North Carolina lawmakers who believe the law entitles them to ignore subpoenas seeking documents about election changes that are being challenged in court.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder upheld Thursday the earlier decision of a magistrate judge who told legislators they didn't have broad immunity from the document demands by those suing over the 2013 law.

Schroeder wrote that while state legislators have such immunity from civil lawsuits and testifying about legislative activity, he can't say that privilege from document requests is absolute.

The ruling comes as civil rights groups and voters have sued because they say several provisions of the law are discriminatory. They want to block the law's use in the November elections while the suit continues.

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