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Federal Appeals Court Refuses Rod Blagojevich Trial Delay

Ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will not get the trial delay he was hoping for as a federal appeals court turned down his request.

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's impending corruption trial is scheduled to begin on June 3 and will not be postponed while the U.S. Supreme Court resolves challenges to the federal honest services fraud law, the Associated Press reports.

As previously discussed, the controversial statute forms the basis for a number of charges against Rod Blagojevich.

His lawyers want the trial pushed back five months until November. They were hoping that a decision would come from the U.S. Supreme Court on honest services fraud.

The Supreme Court is expected to resolve the honest services issue sometime in June.

In general, the law against honest services fraud makes it a crime for public officials to deprive the public, or the government of the right to have those public officials perform their duties honestly.

Blagojevich was removed from office after an alleged attempt to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama and other alleged efforts to leverage the powers of his office, as previously discussed.

The federal appeals court said it had no jurisdiction to step into the trial court proceeding and postpone the date. In addition, appeals judges said plenty of other charges in the indictment still can be used to try Blagojevich if the Supreme Court wipes out the honest services statute.

As previously discussed, prosecutors were concerned that some of the charges against Blagojevich would be wiped out after the ruling and that he could actually find himself in a better legal position.