Monday, March 28, 2016

EXTRA: Supreme Court can’t be bothered to hear Rod Blagojevich pleas

It really shouldn’t be a surprise – the Supreme Court of the United States usually hears arguments on about 100 of the thousands of appeals it receives each year.

BLAGOJEVICH: From back in better days
Meaning most people who have dreams of the Supreme Court ruling in their favor and overturning some lower court’s “mistake” wind up disappointed.

COUNT AMONG THE disappointed one federal corrections center inmate named Rod Blagojevich – who currently is about four years into a 14-year prison sentence for some of his actions committed while serving as Illinois governor.

The high court reportedly gave the Blagojevich case a cursory review, decided there were no great legal issues that needed to be resolved, and therefore no need for the court to give it any public attention.

No hearings. Definitely no ruling. The court let stand the ruling of the Court of Appeals based in Chicago – which was the one that struck down five of Blagojevich’s criminal convictions, but also implied that the remaining convictions were severe enough that they could still warrant the lengthy prison sentence he received.

There are those who dream that Blagojevich’s prison sentence could be significantly reduced to something like about four years – which, coincidentally, is the amount of prison time already served.

THAT WOULD BE the nightmare for many others – the idea of Blagojevich returning to Chicago for a re-sentencing hearing and learning that his prison time is done!

Not likely to happen. Because my prediction is that Blagojevich gets a year knocked off the overall sentence. With early release for good behavior (which isn’t much in the federal correctional system), he could be free by 2023.

Another seven years without Milorod in our presence. Although I suspect the only person who truly will miss him will be one-time Illinois first lady Patti Blagojevich.

Although Judge James Zagel will make the final decision on Blagojevich’s fate when he holds the re-sentencing hearing – which has yet to be scheduled. Something we all get to look forward to.

I DO HAVE to admit one potential disappointment in the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the Blagojevich case.

What if the legal merits had caused a split in the high court that would have resulted in a 4-4 decision? One in which the current vacancy caused by the Senate’s refusal to consider President Barack Obama’s appointment of Merrick Garland to the court became an issue.

Because a 4-4 decision would mean a failure to get five justices – it would mean upholding the Court of Appeals’ decision, and nothing would change.

Somehow I suspect the now-greyed Blagojevich would get a kick out of the ability to cause such chaos with his legal case. While the rest of us are on the verge of forgetting that the man ever existed – we’ve moved on to new layers of political people (Rauner or Madigan, depending on one’s partisan hang-ups) whom we’d like to see incarcerated!


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