Lawyers for the Democratic Party in North Carolina say Republican legislators have taken away their right to decide who their favored judicial candidates will be this year by passing a law canceling primary elections for trial and appellate court judgeships.

The attorneys made the argument Wednesday in a Greensboro federal courtroom on their request to block the law’s enforcement and reinstate the primary for May.

Lawyers for the state and GOP legislators told U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles that the judicial primary cancellation is legal and Democratic Party members still have their constitutional right to associate and choose the candidate they want to back through other means.

Eagles didn’t immediately rule after close to three hours of arguments. Unless Eagles grants the Democrats’ request, the law directs judicial candidate filing be held in June with elections in November.