RALEIGH, N.C. — Voters who successfully challenged North Carolina’s legislative districts have until the end of next week to respond to a request by Republican lawmakers for the U.S. Supreme Court to block a lower-court ruling directing altered maps be used in this year’s elections.

Chief Justice John Roberts told plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit over General Assembly maps to file any legal brief by Feb. 2. That’s ten days before candidate filing for legislative seats is to start.

A three-judge panel last week approved changes to two dozen House and Senate districts drawn by a court-appointed expert. But GOP legislative leaders say lines the General Assembly approved last summer are lawful and the panel’s rulings are based on faulty legal findings. They filed a stay request with Roberts on Wednesday.