Illinois court rejects AG's attempt to remove governor

Chris Rizo Dec. 17, 2008, 10:00am



SPRINGFIELD - In a blow to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's efforts to oust embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich, the state Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected her lawsuit to transfer the governor's powers to Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn.

Madigan had sought to have her fellow Democrat declared as incapable of governing the state following his indictment on federal corruption charges. The high court denied her request without comment.

In her plea to the justices, Madigan had argued that "the pervasive nature and severity" of the case against Blagojevich had rendered him "incapable of legitimately exercising his ability as governor."

In a statement, Madigan said she was disappointed with the court's decision not to hear the case.

"Because of Governor Blagojevich's refusal to resign, the state of Illinois is in an unsustainable situation. The serious criminal charges against Governor Blagojevich strike directly at the heart of his decision-making process and seriously impede his ability to legitimately exercise the powers of his office," Madigan said. "Thus, while the U.S. Attorney's Office and the impeachment process move forward, the state is left with a governor who cannot make effective decisions on critical and time-sensitive issues."

The court on Wednesday also denied Madigan's motion for a temporary restraining order that would have immediately prevented Blagojevich from appointing someone to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

The two-term governor was arrested last week on charges that he conspired to sell Obama's former Senate seat. He is also accused of refusing to free up funds for a children's hospital in Chicago until he received a $50,000 campaign contribution.

Blagojevich's attorney, Ed Genson, called on Madigan today to recuse herself from any future dealings with the governor's fate since she has been mentioned as a possible candidate for Obama's Senate seat and for governor in 2010.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

More News