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Saturday, June 26, 2010

JURIST - Paper Chase: Blagojevich judge refuses to delay trial after Supreme Court 'honest services' ruling

JURIST - Paper Chase: Blagojevich judge refuses to delay trial after Supreme Court 'honest services' ruling
Friday, June 25, 2010

Blagojevich judge refuses to delay trial after Supreme Court 'honest services' ruling

Sarah Miley at 8:15 AM ET



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[JURIST] A federal judge on Thursday denied a request to delay the corruption trial of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich [JURIST news archive] in order for his defense lawyers to review a decision by US Supreme Court [official website] limiting the scope of the federal honest services fraud statute [18 USC § 1346 text]. Blagojevich is currently facing several honest services fraud charges for allegedly conspiring to sell or trade the Senate seat left vacant by US President Barack Obama [official website] after his election. Judge James Zagel of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois [official website] held that the trial delay was unnecessary because the Supreme Court's decision in Skilling v. United States [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] was unlikely to affect Blagojevich's case. The Supreme Court held in Skilling that the honest services law is not unconstitutionally vague under a limited construction of the statute and was only applicable to the protection of intangible rights of honest service deprived through bribery and kickbacks. Last month, the Supreme

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