Our Pledge To You

News

Blagojevich lawyers file motion seeking halt until Supreme Court decision

Lawyers for imprisoned ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich filed a motion on Friday asking a federal judge to hold off on resentencing until they learn whether the U.S. Supreme Court will take on his case.

On Wednesday, Blagojevich lost his bid for the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to reconsider its refusal to overturn his conviction and prison sentence. Blagojevich’s attorney Leonard Goodman vowed he’d take the appeal to the Supreme Court.

On Friday, Goodman filed a motion requesting to hold off on resentencing until it’s learned whether the Supreme Court will take on Blagojevich’s case.

That could take months, and if the Supreme Court denies hearing his case, it’s unlikely prosecutors will decide to retry the former governor on the five vacated counts. That could push a resentencing hearing to 2016.

Blagojevich’s lawyers on Wednesday argued that no politician could avoid federal prison if held to the same standard as the former governor. But that argument fell flat. Now Blagojevich is hoping to get the case to the Supreme Court.

Blagojevich, 58, asked all nine active appellate court judges on Aug. 4 to hear his case. It took 15 days for the appeals court to shoot him down in a three-sentence order. It said, ““no judge in regular active service has requested a vote” on Blagojevich’s request, and “all of the judges on the panel have voted to deny rehearing. The petition for rehearing is therefore DENIED.”

A three-judge panel tossed five of Blagojevich’s 18 criminal convictions last month in a decision that initially seemed to signal good news for him. But that panel said “it is not possible to call 168 months of unlawfully high for Blagojevich’s crimes.”

Blagojevich was convicted of the 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.