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Former governor spared prison, for now (UPDATED)

UPDATED Wednesday 6:01 p.m.   The Justice Department urged the Supreme Court not to allow the former governor to remain free while he pursues his appeal.  The Court, it argued, is not likely to grant review of the case, or to rule his way even if it did.  The Court recently denied review of a political corruption case raising issues close to those in McDonnell’s case, it added.  FURTHER UPDATE: Thursday 1:06 p.m.  The former governor’s reply brief is here.


Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., on Monday afternoon temporarily blocked the imprisonment of former Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell until the Supreme Court can consider further his plea to remain free while he appeals his corruption conviction.   The Chief Justice’s order is here.

The Justice Department was told to file its views on McDonnell’s plea by 4 p.m. on Wednesday.  A federal appeals court ruling upholding his conviction will be on hold until after there is further action either by the Chief Justice or by the full Court.

The federal government opposed the governor’s bid to remain out of prison when he pursued that request in lower courts, and it is expected to do so again.

McDonnell’s attorneys are planning to file an appeal of his conviction, but that has not yet been filed.  And, in any event, the Court would not act on that appeal until it returns for its new Term this fall.  He seeks to remain free until the Supreme Court takes final action on his appeal.


Recommended Citation: Lyle Denniston, Former governor spared prison, for now (UPDATED), SCOTUSblog (Aug. 24, 2015, 5:11 PM),