PITTSBURGH (AP) – Attorneys for suspended state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin want the six remaining justices to halt her prosecution on campaign corruption charges later this month on the grounds that it violates the constitutional separation of powers.

The King’s bench memo is a direct appeal to the high court of an issue already rejected by Allegheny County Judge Lester Nauhaus, who is scheduled to begin picking a jury for Melvin’s trial starting Jan. 23.

Nauhaus last month rejected Melvin’s argument that the charges should be thrown out because the district attorney — as part of the executive branch of government —has no jurisdiction to regulate the behavior of court employees. Melvin is charged with using her former Superior Court staffers to illegally campaign for a seat on the high court in 2003 and 2009.