WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Monday rejected former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's appeal of his corruption convictions that included his attempt to sell the vacant Senate seat once occupied by President Barack Obama.
The justices let stand an appeals court ruling that found Blagojevich crossed the line when he sought money in exchange for naming someone to fill the seat. Blagojevich, 59, is serving a 14-year sentence at a federal prison in Colorado.
A federal appeals court last year threw out five of his 18 convictions and Blagojevich was hoping the Supreme Court would consider tossing the rest. His lawyers argued in an 83-page November filing that the line between the legal and illegal trading of political favors has become blurred, potentially leaving politicians everywhere subject to prosecution.
The appeal to the high court was a last slim hope for Blagojevich, who has proclaimed his innocence for years. Since his 2008 arrest and through his two trials, Blagojevich has argued he was participating in legal, run-of-the-mill politicking.
Blagojevich meanwhile is awaiting a resentencing ordered in July by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago when it ruled to toss the five convictions.
The Supreme Court hears only around 80 cases a year out of more than 10,000 requests and typically accepts cases that raise weighty and divisive legal issues.