DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A judge is hearing arguments in a lawsuit that challenges the 11-month gap between U.S. Rep. John Conyers’ resignation and a special election to fill the seat.

Critics say going nearly a year without a member of Congress in the 13th District is unconstitutional. A Democratic candidate, Michael Gilmore, is asking federal Judge Mark Goldsmith to order an election as soon as possible. Arguments are scheduled for Thursday.

Gov. Rick Snyder set a special election for Nov. 6. The winner would serve until January. There will be a separate race on the fall ballot for a regular two-year term.

Conyers was first elected in 1964. The 88-year-old stepped down from his Detroit-area House seat in December, citing health reasons, though he’d recently been accused by several female former staffers of sexual harassment.

© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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