Chief Justice John Roberts Denies Plea To Force Senate Action On Merrick Garland

Charles Dharapak

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chief Justice John Roberts has denied a lawyer's bid to get the Supreme Court to force the Senate to consider the high court nomination of Judge Merrick Garland.

Roberts on Monday did not comment in rejecting an emergency appeal by lawyer Steven Michel of New Mexico. Michel argued that Senate Republicans' obstruction of President Barack Obama's nomination of Garland violates Michel's rights as a voter under the provision of the Constitution that provides for popular election of senators.

Lower courts had previously dismissed Michel's case. He filed his suit in the summer, well before the election of Donald Trump seemingly doomed Garland's nomination.

Meanwhile, Garland soon will resume hearing cases on the federal appeals court in Washington, where he serves as chief judge.

Garland is set to hear arguments in cases before the appeals court on Jan. 18, according to a calendar posted by the court online.

He has not taken part in cases since Obama nominated him in March.

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