BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge in North Dakota has denied the state’s request to throw out a lawsuit brought by two Native American tribes that allege the state’s new legislative map dilutes tribal members’ voting strength.

The lawsuit filed in February by the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and the Spirit Lake Tribe alleges that the state’s Republican-led Legislature’s new map violated the Voting Rights Act.

U.S. District Judge Peter Welte’s ruling Thursday dismissed the state’s argument that the tribes lacked the standing to sue.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger declined to comment about the ruling Friday because the lawsuit is unresolved.