The Ohio Democrat, notorious for his flamboyant speeches and unkempt hair, had been sentenced to eight years in prison and ousted from Congress in 2002.
Traficant's lawyer contends that he was tried twice for the same crimes - by federal prosecutors and the U.S. House of Representatives. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (search) in Cincinnati ruled against him, and Traficant appealed to the Supreme Court.
"This decision is tantamount to a loophole to the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy," his lawyer, Richard Kerger of Toledo, wrote in the appeal.
Traficant, who served nine terms in the House, was accused of receiving gifts and free labor from businessmen for his political help and taking cash kickbacks and free labor from staff. Traficant represented himself at trial, although he is not a lawyer.
The case is Traficant v. United States, 04-685.