Defense lawyers in Rod Blagojevich's case want U.S. District Judge James Zagel to start all over with qualifying jurors for selection in next week's trial.
Lawyers say Zagel excused hundreds of jurors who marked on a questionnaire that serving on a several-month trial would be a hardship.
A motion filed today by Rod and Robert Blagojevich's lawyers says the judge excused more than 75 percent of the 400-member potential juror pool without allowing defense lawyers to check whether "an undue hardship or extreme inconvenience truly existed."
"Out of those 400 prospective jurors, it is the defendant's belief that approximately 75% (close to 300) were summarily excused by the court for hardship based upon the length of the trial," lawyers wrote in a filing today.
They are asking the judge to start over, which, if granted, would undoubtedly delay proceedings that are now set to begin a week from Thursday.
"Jury service is a duty that should be excused only in the most extreme, unavoidable
circumstances - for example, where financial embarrassment is such as to impose a
real burden and severe hardship validly exists," lawyers wrote.
Lawyers in the case are scheduled to meet in court Thursday afternoon.