Supreme Court Nominations

Chief justice denies lawyer's emergency petition to force Garland vote


Merrick Garland

Judge Merrick Garland.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has denied a lawyer’s emergency application that seeks to force a vote on the U.S. Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland.

Roberts denied the request by New Mexico lawyer Steven Michel on Monday, report Lyle Denniston Law News and Law.com (sub. req.). How Appealing links to additional coverage.

According to Lyle Denniston Law News, “the chief justice acted without giving any reason, without sharing the issue with his colleagues, and even without seeking a response from the Senate.”

Michel lost his appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit earlier this month. The appeals court summarily affirmed a decision that Michel did not have standing to sue.

Michel told Law.com that he is disappointed by Roberts’ denial, but not surprised. “The Senate’s judicial confirmation process is broken,” he said. “I hope it can be fixed before too long, because our democracy depends on it.” The case is Michel v. McConnell.

Garland’s nomination has been pending since March 16, the longest period in history.

The calendar for the D.C. Circuit indicates Garland is returning to his work hearing cases as a federal appeals judge beginning on Jan. 18, according to BuzzFeed News and Law.com.


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