GREENSBORO, N.C. — North Carolina Republican legislative leaders want to halt a federal judge’s order that restored primary elections for appellate court races this year after a state law canceled them.

An attorney for GOP lawmakers filed a request Friday that U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles delay her preliminary injunction this week, or modify it while her decision is appealed.

Judge Eagles kept in place the state law canceling primaries for trial court judges because the General Assembly is debating whether to redraw judicial election districts. But she saw no justification extending it to statewide Court of Appeals and Supreme Court races.

GOP attorney Martin Warf wrote that Eagles creates a two-tiered judicial elections system that will confuse voters. He’s asking her for a quick decision, since appellate court candidates otherwise begin filing Feb. 12.