As promised, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich has taken the fight for his freedom to the U.S. Supreme Court.
But that doesn’t mean the nation’s top court is interested in hearing from the imprisoned politician, who is making a long-shot bid to overturn a 14-year prison sentence.
Former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Cramer said the Supreme Court “takes very few cases,” and he said Blagojevich isn’t likely to hear from the justices any time this winter.
“Come the thaw, we might hear whether or not they’ll take it,” said Cramer, who now heads the Chicago office of Kroll Inc.
Blagojevich attorney Leonard Goodman vowed this summer to take Blagojevich’s appeal to the highest court. He did so after a three-judge appellate panel tossed five of Blagojevich’s 18 criminal convictions and ordered him to be resentenced. But the panel found in a July 21 ruling that “it is not possible to call 168 months unlawfully high for Blagojevich’s crimes.”
That means if Blagojevich is sentenced again, his penalty might not change. The appeals court also ruled in August there is no reason to delay that resentencing hearing, but no further hearings have been scheduled by U.S. District Judge James Zagel.
The former governor was convicted of 18 counts over two trials, including that he attempted to trade his power to appoint someone to a U.S. Senate seat in exchange for personal benefits.
Over the summer, Blagojevich’s publicists released his first public statement since he surrendered in 2012 to a federal prison in Colorado.
“There is nothing I desire more than to return home to my wife and two young daughters,” Blagojevich said. “I cherish them more than anything in the world. I wish this was over. But I must fight on. What is at stake is nothing less than the rule of law.”