RALEIGH, N.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to speed up the expected appeal over whether North Carolina’s congressional district boundaries are illegal because Republicans drew them to win most of the seats.

The court issued an order Tuesday denying a request by election advocacy groups and voters wanting an expedited briefing schedule, with oral arguments in April. The denial means it’s more likely the current congressional map will be used in this year’s elections.

The order said Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor would have granted the motion sought by Common Cause, League of Women Voters and others.

A three-judge panel last month struck down the current map as a partisan gerrymander. But the Supreme Court blocked the judges’ directive demanding the legislature approve replacement boundaries by Jan. 24.