RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Judges deciding when North Carolina must redraw its state legislative districts are set to hear from voting rights activists calling for special elections and Republican lawmakers urging a slower pace.

A panel of three federal judges will hear their cases Thursday in Greensboro.

Districts must be redrawn after the federal court ruled 28 House and Senate districts are illegally race-based. That ruling was upheld earlier this year by the U.S. Supreme Court, which returned the case to U.S. District Court to decide the next steps.

The plaintiffs are seeking a special election before next year's legislative session, while GOP lawmakers argue they should have until later this year to draw new maps for use in 2018's regularly scheduled elections.