Former Gov. Evan Mecham has lost a last-minute bid to delay the start of jury selection in his criminal trial on charges of concealing a $350,000 campaign loan.

About 100 prospective jurors were scheduled to arrive at Maricopa County Superior Court Thursday for the first step in choosing a jury for the case against the ousted governor and his brother, Willard.On Wednesday, a state Supreme Court justice refused a defense request to delay the trial until the high court considers a defense motion to return the charges to the state grand jury. However, the justice agreed that the Supreme Court will hear arguments on that issue June 1.

The state Court of Appeals rejected a defense claim Monday that the Mechams were denied "substantial procedural rights" in the grand jury process.

The former governor said Wednesday he could not predict whether he will fare any better in court than he did at his state Senate impeachment trial. The Senate removed the 64-year-old Republican on April 4, a year into his first term.