Rod Blagojevich's lawsuit that would allow him to run for office again dismissed by judge

10-page ruling ends with direct quotes from Dr. Seuss' book "Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!"

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Tom Jones WLS logo
Thursday, March 21, 2024
Blagojevich's lawsuit to allow run for office dismissed by judge
A federal judge's 10-page ruling addressed to Rod Blagojevich ends with direct quotes from Dr. Seuss' book "Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!"

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich that could have opened the door on another run for office.

Blagojevich filed the lawsuit about two years ago, but U.S. District Judge Steven Seeger didn't dismiss the case until Thursday, saying in part of a colorful opinion, "He wants back. But he's already gone. Case dismissed."

The federal judge in Chicago issued Rod Blagojevich his walking papers, literally. The disgraced former Illinois governor has basically been told to take a hike -- in the judge's dismissal of Blagojevich's attempt to run again for state office.

In a blistering and whimsical opinion against Blagojevich, the judge quotes Dr. Seuss who wrote a book about a man whose welcome was long worn out. "Will You Please Go Now" is in the title, and is the gist of the judge's dismissal of Blagojevich's legal effort to run again for state office, despite having been impeached, and imprisoned.

In 2021, Blagojevich filed a lawsuit against the state of Illinois alleging that it was unconstitutional for Illinois' General Assembly to bar him from ever running for state office just because he had been impeached following a corruption conviction and 14-year prison sentence.

On Thursday, Judge Steven Seeger tossed out the lawsuit in an entertaining opinion not usually handed down from between these walnut walls where lives are changed.

"The complaint is riddled with problems," wrote Judge Seeger. "If the problems are fish in a barrel, the complaint contains an entire school of tuna. It is a target-rich environment. The complaint is an Issue-Spotting Wonderland," he wrote referring to a law school skill aimed at spotting goofball legal issues.

"This certainly shuts the door on Blagojevich ever reclaiming state office," explained former federal prosecute and ABC7 Chief Legal Analyst Gil Soffer, "Because the only way you could get there effectively was to have this judge say that there was something constitutionally flawed about the impeachment process and the judge was having none of it."

Blagojevich can appeal the judge's decision, but as an attorney, Soffer said it's not something he would recommend.

"There's not much harm to taking an appeal, but his sides of prevailing are vanishingly small," Soffer said.

The 10-page ruling ends with direct quotes from Dr. Seuss' book "Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!"

The judge, addressing not Mooney but Blagojevich, wrote, "The time has come. The time has come. The time is now. Just Go. Go. GO! I don't care how. You can go by foot. You can go by cow. Marvin K. Mooney, will you please go now!"

The usually approachable former governor was unavailable to comment, and he was said to be too consumed by late deadlines on his tell-all book.

His spokesman however said while the judge's ruling is no surprise, the law banning Blagojevich is unconstitutional. Despite the ruling, nothing prevents the convicted and commuted felon from running for federal office, including the presidency, which is where he always saw himself landing.

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Blagojevich previously told the I-Team that it's unconstitutional to pass a state law against one person stopping them from running for office.

"I could legally run for president of the United States, but I can't run for alderman of the 33rd Ward," he said at the time.

This is a developing story; check back with ABC7 Chicago for updates.