WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fifteen former American Bar Association presidents are joining the push to urge Republicans to consider President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee.
In a letter to Senate leaders, the legal advocates argue that the GOP blockade is injecting politics into the courts that "materially hampers the effective operation" of the judiciary.
The group calls Chief Judge Merrick Garland "one of the most outstanding judges in the country" and says the Senate should give him a hearing and a vote.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley say they won't consider Garland because an election-year hearing would be too political.
In the letter, the lawyers argue "there is no election-year exception" to the Senate's advice and consent responsibilities in the Constitution.