Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) could be headed to trial soon.
This morning, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit denied Jefferson's request for a hearing en banc to consider his interlocutory appeal. Last month, a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit affirmed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia not to dismiss the pending corruption indictment against Jefferson.
Jefferson had argued that the grand jury improperly heard evidence of his legislative activities—in violation of the Constitution's speech or debate clause—and that the evidence was relevant to its decision to indict.
"The petition for rehearing en banc was circulated to the full Court. No poll was requested. The Court denies the petition for rehearing en banc," says the 4th Circuit's order.
The denial removes the last major hurdle to Jefferson's trial. He lost his bid for re-election Saturday, after a hurricane-caused delay in the election.