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Ex-Gov Blagojevich files lawsuit challenging Illinois rule that precludes him from running again

The ex-Governor, whose sentence was commuted by President Trump last year, says he has no plans to run, but wants to keep his options open

August 3, 2021 8:06am

Updated: August 3, 2021 8:50am

Former Illinois Governor and convicted felon Rod Blagojevich is posing a legal challenge to a state General Assembly's resolution that disqualifies him for running for any state or local office because of his 2009 impeachment.

The 64-year-old Blagojevich is seeking a permanent injunction from a federal judge that would declare the resolution unconstitutional. He insisted Monday to reporters outside the courthouse that he has no specific plans to run for office, but he doesn't want to rule it out either. 

Blagojevich, a Democrat, plans to act as his own attorney for the suit, which is considered a long shot legal argument.

Last year, the ex-governor's 14-year prison sentence, which he was serving on account of corruption charges including an attempt to sell a United States Senate seat (vacated by President-elect Barack Obama) to the highest bidder, was commuted by then-President Donald Trump.

During his 2009 impeachment hearing, Blagojevich was removed from office on a vote of 59-0, and separately (on a second vote of 59-0) penalized with the inability to seek any nonfederal public office in Illinois.

Following his release, he was disbarred from practicing law by the Supreme Court of Illinois. He says he's now considering attempting to get back his law license.