GREENSBORO, N.C. — A trial on whether North Carolina Republican legislators used illegal, excessive partisanship last year in drawing congressional districts that favored the GOP is scheduled for next month.

A three-judge federal panel set the Oct. 16 trial date in Greensboro on Monday, a few days after the judges explained why they refused to delay the case until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on Wisconsin litigation involving partisan gerrymandering.

The General Assembly used rules for drawing the congressional boundaries designed to help Republicans keep 10 of the state’s 13 congressional seats. Election advocacy groups and voters sued.

In allowing the North Carolina lawsuits to go to trial, two of the judges wrote there are legal and factual differences with the Wisconsin case that give minimal benefit to the legislative defendants.