Blagojevich SCOTUS conference set for April

CHICAGO (WLS) -- In what is widely considered as the last legal hurrah for imprisoned Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, the justices of the United States Supreme Court on Wednesday received files for in his latest appeal.

The Supreme Court has scheduled a conference meeting for April 13 in Washington to consider whether it will hear Blagojevich's long-shot appeal. In December the defrocked governor asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider tossing his convictions on corruption charges. Since then U.S. officials have ripped his efforts.

Blagojevich's legal team has filed a new, point-by-point rebuke of the government's opposition to his appeal. It restates his previous points-arguing that the nation's highest court should take his case and settle lingering disagreements in lower courts over what constitutes illegal political fundraising.

Although Blagojevich has seen multiple failed bids to have his corruption conviction thrown out or his 14-year prison term whittles down, he is once again hanging his final hope for relief on a sentence reduction.

After resurrecting his previous appeal arguments in the latest filing, the former governor asks that his sentence-the longest ever imposed on an Illinois politician for corruption-be reduced.

"At The Very Least," Blagojevich's lawyers write, the Supreme Court should freeze his appeal request on sentencing grounds until a decision in the "Chavez-Meza v. United States" case can be determined.

That case may decide whether a district court must explain its decision when deciding not to grant a proportional sentence reduction. "While the case arises in a somewhat different context, sentencing courts in both settings are required to consider the Section 3553(a) sentencing factors" attorneys for Blagojevich write.

The disgraced governor is in his sixth year at a federal prison in Colorado. Among other convictions, he was found guilty of trying to extort a children's hospital for contributions and seeking to trade an appointment to Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat for campaign cash.

Chicago trial Judge James Zagel re-imposed Blagojevich's original 14-year sentence at a resentencing in 2016. That was ordered after the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in dismissed five of 18 convictions. The 7th Circuit judges said the evidence against Blagojevich on the 13 counts that remained was "overwhelming."
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