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PHOENIX -- A federal judge has denied Maricopa County's request to participate in a federal court case involving a challenge to the state's map of congressional districts.

County officials had said they don't have a position on the challenge itself but do have a stake in the case because its outcome could affect how the county conducts elections. The Arizona Legislature made the challenge.

However, U.S. District Judge Paul Rosenblatt ruled that the county made its request to intervene too far along in the case and also didn't adequately explain what role the county would play.

The Republican-controlled Legislature's lawsuit requests a court order blocking continued use of the congressional districts drawn by a state commission. The commission was created under a state constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2000.

Associated Press,

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