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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Internet Powerhouse/Law professor Andy Martin files federal civil rights lawsuit to block impeachment of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich

Law professor Andy Martin says U. S. Constitution applies to Illinois impeachment proceedings. Martin says Illinois legislators are conducting a corrupt, kangaroo court trial that is going to boomerang on the state. “America’s capital of corruption is running true to form,” Martin says. “Asking crooked Daley Machine politicians to cast an honest vote on impeachment is a travesty of justice.”

Internet Powerhouse Andy Martin files civil rights lawsuit to block Illinois impeachment proceedings
Executive Editor

“Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct”




(CHICAGO)(January 28, 2009) Internet Powerhouse and Illinois corruption-fighter Andy Martin will file suit Thursday to block impeachment proceedings against Governor Rod Blagojevich.

“Throughout history, unpopular defendants have created a public mood for revenge. What is going on in Springfield today is a crude replica of the 1930’s Soviet show trials. Rod Blagojevich is a public official all of us would like to dismiss. His actions are unusual to say the least. But in a rush to destroy Blagojevich, corrupt Illinois politicians are also destroying the Office of Governor. The consequences of a tainted Blagojevich removal will shadow Illinois state government for decades.

“It is also true, and history reflects, that ‘bad people’ often have ‘good cases.’ Important legal principles have been forged in the crucible of events created by loathsome individuals. Blagojevich may justifiably be a bad person in the eyes of the public, and in the eyes of his adversaries in Illinois. But his opponents are destroying the Governor’s Office to get at Blagojevich. Illinoisans are entitled to impeachment proceedings that are more than a sham and show trial. Rod Blagojevich has a ‘good case’ when he says his rights are being violated.

“Finally, it often falls to unconventional defenders to stand up for what is right in constitutional adjudication. For over forty years I have been fighting Illinois corruption. I am not defending any of Blagojevich’s questionable actions. But I am fully prepared to challenge the process by which he is being accused and convicted.

“I am at stage in my life where truth matters more than power. For some reason, as a young law student I had the temerity to stand with people who sought to remove two corrupt Illinois Supreme Court justices. We won; and I paid the price for my integrity. The Supreme Court attacked me for helping expose the crooked judges. I am prepared to fight again for the interests of the People of Illinois against the onslaught of craven politicians who seek personal power at the peril of destroying our institutions. Defending the Illinois Constitution was a great honor in 1969; it is an equally unexpected honor in 2009.

“I believe the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is also being compromised. The Constitution puts a judge in control of impeachment proceedings so that a justice should be there to act as a judge, not as a potted plant. Justice Fitzgerald has been supine in the face of contemptible abuses of power by Daley Machine hacks who seek to exploit a questionable arrest to hound a governor from office. I am asking that the Chief Justice stand up for the Constitution, and stand down from appearing to endorse proceedings that are a scandalous perversion of due process.

“I am available to be in Springfield Monday, February 2nd to begin the defense of the Office of Illinois Governor. If Governor Blagojevich benefits from my efforts to undo the mess he created, so be it. I propose to represent the Constitution, not a temporary holder of what we pray will be an enduing public trust. I believe it is an overriding constitutional imperative that the current impeachment proceedings not be decided by default.

“Even if Pat Quinn attempts to seize power, his usurpation of office and the legislature’s abuses would be subject to a writ of quo warranto. Illinois’ finances could be tied up for years with legitimate questions about the legality of the impeachment proceedings. Why not just do it right the first time?” Martin states. “Only proceedings conducted in accordance with due process will enjoy public support and ultimate endorsement of the judicial process.”

Martin’s lawsuit seeks to allow him to block Blagojevich’s removal from office, and names Chief Justice Thomas Fitzgerald, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, and Lt. Governor Patrick Quinn as defendants.

The case is being filed in Sangamon County Circuit Court. Martin’s papers are being sent by overnight delivery to Springfield.

Martin was a Republican Party candidate for Governor in the 2006 primary election.

Martin’s lawsuit and exhibits will be available shortly on the Internet.
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Andy Martin is a legendary Chicago muckraker, author, Internet columnist, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. He has over forty years of broadcasting experience in radio and television. He is currently based in New York promoting his best-selling book, Obama: The Man Behind The Mask. Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of

Martin comments on regional, national and world events with over forty years of experience. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York.

His columns are also posted at;
MEDIA CONTACT: (866) 706-2639 or CELL (917) 664-9329
E-MAIL: [NOTE: We frequently correct typographical errors and additions/subtractions on our blogs, where you can find the latest edition of this release.]
© Copyright by Andy Martin 2009.



CASE NO. ________________




in his official capacity as
Presiding Judge of the
gubernatorial impeachment,
his official capacity as
President of the Senate,
Lieutenant Governor
of Illinois



1. Jurisdiction and venue
a. This court has federal civil rights jurisdiction of the controversy, 42 U. S.C. § 1983. State courts have a mandate to enforce federal constitutional rights, see Howlett v. Rose, 496 U.S. 356, 110 S. Ct. 2430 (1990), Van Meter v. Darien Park District, 207 Ill.2d 359, 799 N.E.2d 273, 289 (Ill. 2003). When acting pursuant to § 1983, state nisi prius courts are vested with the full enforcement powers of the United States Constitution, despite conflicting state law mandates, Howlett, supra.
b. Substantially all of the operative activity of the defendants concerning the facts of this lawsuit is centered in Sangamon County.
2. The parties
a. Plaintiff Andy Martin is a world-respected corruption-fighter, Internet publisher and columnist, see e.g.,
b. Forty years ago, as a young law student at the University of Illinois, Plaintiff participated in helping expose the Klingbiel-Solfisburg bank stock scandal on the Illinois Supreme Court. Since then, Plaintiff has been a corruption fighter who specializes in judicial and political abuses, see
c. Since December 2008, Plaintiff has viewed with increasing concern the lynch mob atmosphere created around the Office of Governor of Illinois.
d. The Hon. Thomas Fitzgerald is sued solely in his official capacity in his constitutional role as presiding judge at the impeachment trial of Governor Rod Blagojevich (“Blagojevich”).
e. Senator John J. Cullerton is sued solely in his official capacity as President of the Illinois S enate for any role he has at the impeachment trial of Governor Rod Blagojevich.
f. The Hon. Patrick Quinn is the Lieutenant Governor of Illinois; he would succeed to the Office of Governor if the currently unlawful impeachment proceedings were to reach fruition.
3. Factual allegations
a. Plaintiff believes that the impeachment proceedings involving Blagojevich reflect blatant corruption and conflicts of interest on the part of Governor Blagojevich’s own accusers. The orchestrator of the articles of impeachment, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, is openly known as someone with a direct conflict of interest because of his efforts to advance the career of his daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
b. Even in the nebulous area of impeachment, the
Governor is entitled to have the charges against him procured through a process that is free of the taint of conflict of interest and corruption, and which reflects action by public officials who are acting impartially. The pending impeachment articles, orchestrated by a political opponent and promoter of alternative public officials, do not meet that threshold standard.
c. Although Governor Blagojevich was arrested in December on the basis of a vacuous claim that he tried to “sell” a U.S. Senate seat, federal prosecutors have candidly admitted in court that they lack sufficient evidence at this time to procure a grand jury indictment on that claim.
A. The term “sale” itself is misleading and
deceptive. There is little evidence that Blagojevich, in filling a U. S. Senate vacancy, did anything more than engage in the traditional forms of “logrolling” and mutual back-scratching that are ingrained in every state and the national capital.
B. The fact that federal prosecutors have been
unable to obtain an indictment for the alleged “sale” over one month after Blagojevich’s arrest attests to the opacity of the incidents in question. Blagojevich’s regrettable use of profanity and vulgarity do not transform political manipulation into criminal activity.
d. The members of the State House, and respondent State Senate (Cullerton) have rigged the impeachment trial so as to prevent the Governor from proffering a meaningful defense to the charges contained in the arrest allegations. Blagojevich has been forced into a “sentence first, verdict afterward” box. Although he has not yet been formally charged by federal indictment, the legislature has taken as true the claims contained in his arrest warrant and prevented him from defending against those accusations because such a “defense” might “prejudice” a future indictment. This is a classic example of putting the cart before the horse.
e. While legislators supervise the impeachment process, Illinois residents also have an independent right to due process, to ensure that the appearance of fairness and impartiality is maintained in the removal of any elected official. It is clear that Blagojevich would not have been impeached but for the federal “arrest.” Yet under current impeachment “Rules,” where the arrest accusations are being taken as true, he is unable to defend against the very charges contained in the arrest warrant that triggered his impeachment. That is a mockery of due process, or as a more modern critic might describe the Governor’s dilemma, a “Catch-22.”.
f. Likewise, as Senator Rickey Hendon has stated, Blagojevich is being impeached for matters in which state senators themselves participated and urged him to proceed,,CST-NWS-brown27.article.
g. How can the same state senators who urged him to act in the past now be impartial in judging the Governor, by sitting in judgment on what have retroactively been recharacterized as “impeachable acts?” Merely to pose the question is to demonstrate how completely hypocritical the current proceedings are.
h. Plaintiff contacted Chief Justice Fitzgerald and stated that if Blagojevich would not tender a defense, a defense should be tendered on behalf of the Office of Governor. The corrupt and politically motivated removal of a twice-elected state official would undermine the Office of Governor itself. The Governor has a right not to appear, but he does not have a right to forfeit a defense on behalf of the Office itself.
i. Plaintiff does not claim to represent Blagojevich personally; rather, Plaintiff seeks to defend the Illinois Constitution and the Office of Governor by raising defenses in the impeachment proceedings that are obvious and potentially dispositive of the current charade. These defenses should not be forfeited merely because the Governor has chosen not to participate in his own defense.
j. As Plaintiff stated to Chief Justice Fitzgerald, there is a growing body of law concerning “defaults" by defendants, and the necessity to present defenses even in the absence of the wishes of the defendant, see e.g. attached Exhibit A, Davis v. Grant, 532 F.3rd 132 (2d Cir. 2008).
k. Plaintiff tendered a Motion for Leave to Appear, addressed to the presiding officer of the impeachment trial, Exhibit B, as well as a proposed draft order, Exhibit C.
l. Plaintiff was and remains willing, ready and able to tender a defense at the impeachment trial on behalf of the Office of Governor.
m. On January 26th, respondent Fitzgerald inquired in open court (the impeachment trial) whether there was anyone present to defend the Governor, and then concealed the fact that a motion seeking such relief had been submitted to him by Plaintiff and was pending. The legerdemain that there was no defense for the Governor was a misrepresentation to both the Senate (Cullerton) and the Citizens of Illinois. The presiding judge should have disclosed that efforts were being made to tender a defense, and that the justice himself was concealing and frustrating those efforts by refusing to rule on them, so as to prevent judicial review of any denial thereof.
o. The complete denial of due process reached a crescendo on January 27th with the playing of “tapes” that were edited by prosecutors.
A. Allowing one side to a controversy to “edit”
what the other side and the public will hear of the conflicting evidence is a travesty of due process and an assault on both the federal and state constitutions.
B. Not even the looser rules of impeachment allow
doctored and self-serving evidence to be used to convict a public official by preventing that official from tendering a full and complete response to edited tapes. One of the most ancient evidentiary doctrines is that a decision-maker should receive into evidence full and complete, and original, copies of evidence, not evidence which has been self-servingly redacted by an interested party.
C. Blagojevich’s rights are being violated twice,
both by prejudicing the impeachment court and by prejudicing any future criminal proceeding.
4. Legal claim
a. Although the members of the General Assembly have sought to portray the area of impeachment as uncharted legal territory, the United States Constitution undoubtedly applies and bars precipitous removal of state officials through impeachment procedures that violate federal constitutional due process.
b. The procedures being orchestrated by the defendants and members of the General Assembly are little more than a sham, intended to (i) benefit some politicians and injure others, and (ii) weaken the office of Governor of Illinois, all while falsely claiming to be acting in the "public" interest.
c. Illinois citizens have a right to a process which not only appears to be fair, but which is fair, In re Murchison, 349 U.S. 133, 75 S. Ct. 623 (1955). Wheat v. U.S., 486 U.S. 153, 108 S. Ct. 1692 (1988).
d. If Blagojevich will not stand up to defend the Office of Governor, Plaintiff as a "private attorney general” is entitled to do so to defend the office of Governor and the Illinois Constitution from the predatory behavior of members of the General Assembly, Kinkel v. Cingular Wireless, 223 Ill.2d 1, 857 N.E.2d 250, 276 (Ill. 2006). The current impeachment fiasco involves questions and issues far more critical than the future of a single eccentric incumbent public official.
e. Any assumption of the Office of Governor by defendant Quinn, if accomplished through the currently contemplated procedures which violate the United States Constitution, would be null and void as a violation of due process, cf. Dynes v. Hoover, 61 U.S. 65 (1858).
5. Demand for judgment
a. Plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment directing the defendants to rule on Plaintiff’s pending Motion for Leave.
b. Plaintiff seeks any and all equitable relief to which he may be entitled, including a declaratory judgment that he is entitled to appear and tender a defense on behalf of the Office of Governor in the current impeachment proceedings.
c. Plaintiff seeks a declaratory ruling that Justice Fitzgerald's statement in open court that no one was willing to appear and defend the Office of Governor was objectively false in light of Plaintiff’s pending motion.
d. Plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief barring defendant Quinn from assuming the Office of Governor unless and until all federal constitutional challenges to the underlying impeachment proceedings have been finally adjudicated. A preliminary injunction may be sought to protect the status quo.

DATED: January 27, 2009

Respectfully submitted,

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