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Lawyer asks Supreme Court to force Senate action on Garland

December 16, 2016

A lawyer from New Mexico is mounting a longshot challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to order the Senate to consider the high court nomination of Judge Merrick Garland.

Lawyer Steven Michel argues that Senate Republicans' obstruction of President Barack Obama's nomination of Garland violates his rights as a voter under the provision of the Constitution that provides for popular election of senators.

Lower courts have easily dismissed Michel's case, which began in the summer, well before the election of Donald Trump seemingly doomed Garland's nomination.

The Supreme Court has been operating with eight justices since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February. Obama nominated Garland in March.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Obama's successor should fill the seat.

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