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August 20, 2015

Fourth Circuit refuses to allow convicted former Virginia Gov to remain free pending SCOTUS appeal

As reported in this local article, headlined "Bob McDonnell headed to prison after appeals court rejection," a high-profile white-collar federal defendant has just learned that he may no longer avoid serving his imposed prison sentence while continue to pursue his appeals. Here are the basics:

Former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell is likely headed to prison after a federal appeals court turned down his request to remain free while he appeals his federal corruption conviction to the Supreme Court....

The decision means we should know when and where McDonnell will serve his sentence in seven days. McDonnell’s attorneys planned to petition the Supreme Court to allow the former governor to remain free on bond.

“I am saddened by the Court’s decision today to deny me freedom while I pursue vindication in the U.S. Supreme Court,” McDonnell wrote in a statement released Thursday afternoon. “I am innocent of these charges and will petition the U.S. Supreme Court for a grant of bond. I ask my exceptional friends across the nation to continue to support and pray for me and my family during this agonizing time. I thank God for His abundant grace and strength as I continue this difficult journey.”

Earlier this month, the 4th Circuit Court unanimously rejected’s McDonnell’s second request to consider an appeal.

McDonnell was found guilty of corruption charges and sentenced in January to two years in federal prison. Since then McDonnell has been trying to get his guilty verdicts thrown out. As a result, McDonnell’s lawyer Henry Asbill said his team would appeal the conviction to the Supreme Court.

August 20, 2015 at 03:14 PM | Permalink


Has anyone tried to hire a contractor to renovate a kitchen? Here is what usually happens, nearly 100% of the time. "I need $10,000 for materials." You give him a check. He never returns. I am considering a career change, and becoming a contractor. Get paid ahead of time, do nothing, move to the next job.

Question. The governor and wife received some trinkets and favors from a construction company. Was the construction completed on time and at the budget?

If the answer is yes, then the Governor should get a reward, not prison.

The above scenario is true even at the highest levels of construction contracting. And these prosecutors are insufferable.

Lawyers are government workers who rent, and have no understanding outside their upside down, inside out Twilight Zone world.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 20, 2015 4:10:13 PM

No sympathy here for Bob, getting screwed sometimes, but rarely, works both ways even for the privileged class.

Posted by: Grady | Aug 20, 2015 4:22:30 PM

Also in court of appeals news, a ruling on the application of the 2A to undocumented aliens:


Posted by: Joe | Aug 20, 2015 7:46:12 PM


While I disagree with the panel in saying that the 2nd amendment provides at least some protection to illegal aliens (I think Verdugo-Urquidez is telling here in saying who rights belonging to "the people" actually belong to) I also find it quite odd saying that someone who has already served their sentence must point to something else in order to maintain a challenge to conviction. I would say that the fact of a conviction alone provides enough stigma that erasure of an unconstitutional or unlawful conviction should be more than enough to keep a case from being moot.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Aug 22, 2015 4:08:03 PM

Verdugo-Urquidez has five votes but Kennedy concurred, noting:

"Although some explanation of my views is appropriate given the difficulties of this case, I do not believe they depart in fundamental respects from the opinion of the Court, which I join."

For instance, he noted:

"I cannot place any weight on the reference to "the people" in the Fourth Amendment as a source of restricting its protections. With respect, I submit these words do not detract from its force or its reach"

It's unclear to me how much of the language in the majority opinion regarding "the people" Kennedy himself would accept and apply here. Also, undocumented aliens and aliens probably are significantly different in respect to the 2A specifically, since those who break the law in some fashion can have be regulated more.

I'll remain agnostic on your last point.

Posted by: Joe | Aug 22, 2015 5:00:50 PM

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