The last time convicted ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich appeared in federal court in Chicago, he watched sullenly via a video link from prison as a judge resentenced him to 14 years in prison for an array of corruption schemes.
Five years later, a far more upbeat Blagojevich returned in the flesh to the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, ground zero for his historic political and personal downfall.
“I don’t like this place,” Blagojevich said after striding up to a battery of news microphones set up outside the building on South Dearborn Street. “I was hoping I would never have to set foot in this building again, but here I am.”
This time, the ex-governor, whose sentence was commuted by President Donald Trump in February 2020, wasn’t there to answer to allegations of brazenly selling a U.S. Senate seat or receive a tongue-lashing from a judge.
He was there filing a lawsuit of his own challenging the Illinois General Assembly’s disqualifying resolution that prohibited him from running for any state or local office in Illinois because of his 2009 impeachment.
Additional coverage at the Washington Post.
The pro se complaint in Blagojevich v. Illinois was filed in the North District of Illinois, and the complaint is available at CourtListener. It largely hinges on a Sixth Amendment right… which I do not think will go very far.