Judge to rule Thursday on bid to block Va. GOP 'loyalty oath'

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A judge says she will rule Thursday on a bid by Donald Trump supporters to immediately block the use of a party affiliation statement in Virginia's Republican primary.

U.S. District Judge Hannah Lauck made the statement Wednesday at the end of a three-hour hearing on a motion for a preliminary injunction.

GOP leaders last month persuaded the Virginia State Board of Elections to require voters in the March 1 primary to sign a statement affirming they are Republicans. Trump has criticized the requirement, saying it would scare off new GOP voters.

Three black pastors who support Trump filed a lawsuit against the state board a week ago, saying such a "loyalty oath" would violate their civil rights. Lauck on Monday added the state GOP as a defendant.

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