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March 25, 2010

"Fast Eddie" Vrdolyak hoping to get a fast pass up to the Justices

As detailed in this post from January, a split panel of the Seventh Circuit earlier this year reversed a prominent sentence of five-years' probation (plus 2500 hours of community service) for a prominent former Chicago politician in US v. Vrdolyak, No. 09-1891 (7th Cir. Jan. 29, 2010) (available here).  After having failed to get the Seventh Circuit to take the case en banc, it appears that politician known as "Fast Eddie" is now hoping to get the Supreme Court to take up his case.  This short local press report provides the basics:

Former Chicago Ald. Edward Vrdolyak plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a federal appeals court decision on his sentence for participating in a real estate scheme, his attorneys said.

Attorney Michael Monico said he was disappointed that the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied his client's petition last week. The petition asked the court to reconsider its vote reversing U.S. District Judge Milton Shadur's sentence of five years' probation for his client's involvement in a rigged Gold Coast real estate deal.

"The Supreme Court has given District Court judges great discretion in sentencing and has ruled that the United States sentencing guidelines are now advisory, not mandatory," Monico said. The appeals court reversed Shadur's sentencing earlier this year.

Though the Supreme Court has taken up a whole lot of sentencing issues in the last decade, they have not yet taken a case that raises all the policy and practice issues that involve the sentencing of prominent white-collar defendants.  For that reason (and others), it would be great if SCOTUS took up this case.  But, if I had to make a prediction about this case going forward, I would envision the government (and the SCOTUS cert pool) coming up with lots of reasons to justify denying Fast Eddie a further review. 

March 25, 2010 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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