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Home / Opinion / 09-3975 & 10-1019 Empress Casino Joliet Corp. v. Blagojevich

09-3975 & 10-1019 Empress Casino Joliet Corp. v. Blagojevich

Constitutional Law
Legislative immunity

A state governor is immune from a lawsuit alleging that his signing legislation violated the RICO Act.
“The former governor is entitled to legislative immunity. The Supreme Court has made clear that state and local officials are absolutely immune from federal suits filed against them in their personal capacities for actions taken in connection with legitimate legislative activity. This immunity applies notwithstanding allegations of misconduct and regardless of whether the office held is legislative or executive—as long as the activity in question is functionally legislative. Under this established federal doctrine, Blagojevich is immune from civil suit for his role in inducing the Illinois legislature to adopt the Horse Racing Acts of 2006 and 2008 and for signing those Acts into law. The RICO claim survives, however; Friends of Blagojevich, Johnston, and the two racetracks he owns remain as defendants on that claim.”

Reversed and Remanded.

09-3975 & 10-1019 Empress Casino Joliet Corp. v. Blagojevich

Appeals from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Kennelly, J., Sykes, J.

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