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Supreme Court again refuses to hear Blagojevich appeal

The Supreme Court for the second time has refused to hear an appeal by imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich of his corruption convictions.

The justices didn’t comment Monday in letting stand the convictions and 14-year prison term the 61-year-old is serving. His scheduled release date is 2024.

Blagojevich’s lawyers had wanted the high court to take up his case to make clear what constitutes illegal political fundraising. They argued that politicians are vulnerable to prosecution because the line between what’s allowed and what’s illegal is blurry.

His convictions included trying to extort a children’s hospital for contributions and seeking to trade an appointment to the Senate seat Barack Obama vacated when he was elected president for campaign cash.

The court also refused to hear his 2016 appeal.

The former governor’s wife, Patti Blagojevich, said she and their two children are disappointed in the court’s decision. A Monday statement from Patti Blagojevich says she understands “the judiciary” is “no longer an option” for winning her 61-year-old husband’s release.

With legal avenues closed, Patti Blagojevich says they’ll have to put their “faith elsewhere and find another way.”

She didn’t mention President Donald Trump, however one option could be asking him to commute Blagojevich’s sentence or pardon him.

Blagojevich was on Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” TV show in 2010.

Also on Monday, the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from a pastor who challenged a state law’s noise limit that was used to restrict his anti-abortion protest outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Portland, Maine.

The justices offered no comment Monday in rejecting the appeal from the Rev. Andrew March. He sued after he said Portland police officers repeatedly told him to lower his voice while he was protesting outside the clinic. March says police invoked a part of the Maine Civil Rights Act that applies to noise outside health facilities.

March says the law “targets pro-life advocates” in violation of the Constitution. A district judge temporarily blocked its enforcement, however the federal appeals court in Boston reversed that ruling.

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