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Another Blagojevich publicity stunt

Monday, Aug 2, 2021

* The I-Team

Blagojevich tells the I-Team that he will file a [federal] lawsuit against the state of Illinois, objecting to the way he was removed as governor and challenging the prohibition against his running for state elective office. He claims the methods used against him by the General Assembly violated his constitutional rights.

“I could legally run for President of the United States, but I can’t run for alderman of the 33rd Ward,” said Blagojevich in an exclusive interview with the I-Team and part of a special report on Sunday night.

Blagojevich says he has no actual interest in ether position — president or alderman — but that on Monday, says he will go to the Dirksen federal courthouse in Chicago with a lawsuit alleging the legislative actions that now prevent him from running for statewide office were unconstitutional.

Just weeks after Blagojevich was arrested by the FBI in 2008, and charged in an expansive corruption case, the Illinois House voted to impeach him followed by a senate conviction, thereby removing the state’s 40th governor from office.

Blagojevich says his new lawsuit will accuse the state of an unconstitutional impeachment proceeding, claiming that he was not allowed to call and question witnesses, or play all of the voluminous FBI undercover recordings made during the corruption investigation. […]

“I think he’s got a very hard argument to make. And the reason is this: impeachment is not like a criminal proceeding. A criminal proceeding clearly under the Constitution has certain constitutional protections,” said [ABC7’s legal analyst Gil Soffer, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago]. “But it is much less clear for an impeachment proceeding. An impeachment proceeding is more political than certainly criminal. It’s more political-at least as part political and legal-and so it’s not at all clear that he has the same right, the same due process protections as he would in a criminal proceeding.”

I can’t help but wonder who’s financing this.

* Anyway, Soffer is right. And Hannah Meisel digs up some judicial precedent

Blagojevich’s assertion that being blocked from running for state office is unconstitutional is similar to a losing argument made in federal court by a man barred from running for a local school board a decade ago. The case ended up at the Seventh Circuit Appellate Court, which in 2014 ruled an Illinois election law banning people with certain convictions on their records from running for office does not violate the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection clause.

“The right to run for or hold public office is not a fundamental right,” the court wrote in its opinion. “Thus, a ban on felons running for elective office is valid if it is rationally related to a legitimate state interest. Illinois’s stated interest in barring felons from elective office is to ensure ‘public confidence in the honesty and integrity of those serving in state and local offices.’”

The court also ruled the law doesn’t violate the First Amendment.

The law prevents those convicted of so-called “infamous” crimes like murder, rape, sexual assault, burglary, arson and selling narcotics, but also includes non-violent crimes like perjury and bribery. Blagojevich’s first trial ended with him convicted on a charge of lying to the FBI, and the subsequent trial ended with the jury finding him guilty on 17 charges, including counts of bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery.

The Illinois Constitution allows the Senate to prohibit an impeached and removed official from ever running for state and local elective office.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

33 Comments
  1. - PublisServant - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 6:40 am:

    How can we miss you, if you won’t go away…again.


  2. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 7:59 am:

    Governor Elvis, please go away and take your Lieutenant Governor with you.


  3. - Bruce( no not him) - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 8:38 am:

    I hope he wins. Just for the entertainment value. Who is more fun to talk about here than Blago? S/


  4. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 8:39 am:

    Giving Rod’s silly oxygen is rough.

    Yes, it is news, and if… if it gets overturned… that’d be big news too.

    So, all we all can do is wait. Rod will milk it for all it’s worth


  5. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 8:44 am:

    ==Who is more fun to talk about here than Blago?==

    I wonder how many people (me included) became addicted to this blog because of Blago. First began reading CapFax daily in spring 2007 prior to “Overtime in Hell.”


  6. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 8:51 am:

    I felt bad for his daughters when it all blew up in his face. I think I feel worse for them now.


  7. - Keyrock - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 9:06 am:

    A certain loser of a lawsuit from a loser of a former Governor. But what else can he do to get attention that might help him make money? The demand for Elvis impersonators ain’t what it used to be.


  8. - Monadnock Pigeon - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 9:06 am:

    ==Blagojevich says his new lawsuit will accuse the state of an unconstitutional impeachment proceeding, claiming that he was not allowed to call and question witnesses,==
    As someone who saw the whole trial, I remember thinking at the time that Chief Justice Fitzgerald was making a record to fight back against claims like this. Throughout the trial, at each step where the Governor or his lawyers could have done something (make a legal argument, question the House’s witness, offer their own witness, etc.), you would heard some variation of this:
    (Transcript, Day 2 p. 136 – the first one I could find)
    “CHIEF JUSTICE FITZGERALD: Per Senate Resolution 7, the Governor or his counsel has the right to conduct cross-examination of this witness. However, as neither the Governor nor the counsel on his behalf have appeared, there can be no cross-examination. Therefore, we will proceed directly to taking written questions from the Senators regarding the testimony of the witness.”


  9. - Ok - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 9:13 am:

    Yes, but what about being appointed and serving out successive appointed terms in different positions around the state.

    I am sure there are library boards out there that need filling. He can do book signings.

    And mosquito abatement districts? Send Rod out with a flyswatter.

    The marketing potential is limitless.


  10. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 9:15 am:

    Very Trumpian. I guess the apprentice was paying attention.


  11. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 9:34 am:

    Memo to I-Team: Not everything is news


  12. - Commissar Gritty - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 9:34 am:

    Oh joy we get to watch him step on rakes again


  13. - Responsa - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 10:06 am:

    Ignore him. Misreading the audience is a Blago personality flaw that got him to where he was and is.


  14. - bogey golfer - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 10:56 am:

    I guess like COVID, Blago will never truly go away.


  15. - cermak_rd - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 10:57 am:

    I actually think that notorious crimes perpetrators would be more trustworthy than someone who was convicted of actual misdeeds pertaining to their elected office.


  16. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 11:01 am:

    Give him several millions, a radio and/or TV talk or reality show hosting gig (with an Elvis feature on Fridays), and Blago will probably forget about the lawsuit. Yeah right.


  17. - Rudy’s teeth - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 11:05 am:

    So Blago needs attention. Get a permit, a food truck, and bring on the cevapi to Daley Plaza.

    Can’t wait to see Blago in his old stomping grounds near the Dirksen Federal Building. Where’s Milan Petrovic?


  18. - Give Us Barabbas - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 11:26 am:

    This reeks of dirty tricks stuff by some Republican funder, who wants to give oxygen to Rod’s “conversation” with Pritzker.


  19. - walker - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 11:41 am:

    Who’s paying? Some Trumper is my guess.


  20. - @misterjayem - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 11:42 am:

    “I can’t help but wonder who’s financing this.”

    What’s Peter Thiel up to?

    – MrJM


  21. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 11:46 am:

    ===This reeks of dirty tricks stuff by some Republican funder===

    lol

    More likely a Democrat.


  22. - Roadrager - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 12:10 pm:

    I want to know why Chuck Goudie, Investigative Reporter, is suddenly Rod Blagojevich’s valet. First he poses for fun selfies on Rod’s plane ride home from prison, and now this.


  23. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 12:16 pm:

    Blagoevich can’t differentiate negative attention from positive attention…just like every other common narcissist…simply pitiful.

    I also wonder who is backing Blagoevich…he’s quite less than clever… on his own.


  24. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 12:42 pm:

    If he comes out and says he has no intention of actually running for office then that seems like the judge can just deny the lawsuit on the basis of lack of standing and not even address the merits. The federal courts don’t exist to provide advisory opinions.


  25. - M - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 12:46 pm:

    Is Trumps people backing this?


  26. - Amalia - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 12:49 pm:

    what did he resurrect because it was Elvis Night?


  27. - history - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 1:02 pm:

    Impeachment is a political process. There was a 4 day trial. He didn’t show up or enter a plea, and pursuant to the Rules he was treated as if he pled not guilty. He showed up after all of the evidence was presented and after his opportunity to mount a defense. Hard to fight the verdict when you didn’t bother to attend except to give a closing remark.


  28. - Sir Reel - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 1:07 pm:

    Just when you think the Democratic party has its act together, looks good compared to the Republicans, along comes His Hairness to blow (dry) it up.


  29. - ArchPundit - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 1:14 pm:

    Hannah’s article is good, but it is not even that close of a call. The federal government has the exact same clause for federal impeachments and the Illinois Constitution is controlling for state elections. It’s an explicit power in the State Constitution of the Illinois Senate. The only way it is reviewable is if it were being used against a protected class (I don’t know how that would even work, but presumably that might be a limit). However, being a corrupt not bright former Governor isn’t a protected class.


  30. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 2:39 pm:

    Let him run for Federal office. People laughed at Trump


  31. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 3:26 pm:

    ===I can’t help but wonder who’s financing this.===

    He said he plans to file it pro se. He’s only got to do a couple of joke videos or phone calls to get the couple hundred bucks for the filing fee. He is actually eligible to represent himself.


  32. - Ben Tre - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 3:28 pm:

    Maybe Blago’s team should conduct a “forensic audit” of the impeachment vote.


  33. - JoanP - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 5:41 pm:

    = He is actually eligible to represent himself. =

    Anyone is (with some limitations regarding mental status in criminal cases).


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