RALEIGH -- North Carolina appellate court primaries apparently won't happen after all this year now that a federal appeals court has blocked a judge's ruling directing they be held over the wishes of the Republican-controlled legislature.

A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday halted last week's preliminary injunction by U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles. She had decided that partisan primaries must go ahead this year for the state Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court despite a state law last October canceling them. But attorneys for Republican lawmakers said it would have created a two-tiered judicial elections system that will confuse voters. 

Without the ruling, candidate filing for the state appeals court seats would have begun Monday. Now it will start in June.

Get the latest news, sports and weather delivered straight to your inbox. Click here to sign up for email and text alerts.