GREENSBORO, N.C. - A federal court will decide when new state legislative districts in North Carolina must be drawn and whether a special election is necessary.

The U.S. Middle District of North Carolina, in Greensboro, ruled 28 House and Senate districts are 'illegal racial gerrymanders.'

In other words, the map is unconstitutional because it's based on racial bias and legislative districts must be redrawn.

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Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ruling and returned the case to the U.S. District Court to decide the next steps.

On Thursday, a panel of three judges heard arguments from voting rights activists and attorneys for the state and legislature.

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The plaintiffs want the state to redraw districts maps as soon as possible under a two-week time frame.

They're also pushing for a special election with a schedule of December 5th for primary and March 6th for general elections.

Meanwhile, representatives for the state legislature argue they should have until November to draw new maps for use in 2018's regularly scheduled elections.

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They also argue the concern of overlapping elections.

The judges plan on issuing a ruling later.

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