Five years into his jail sentence for corruption, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich is down to his last appeal, now at the U.S. Supreme Court. His lawyers argue that improper jury instructions resulted in an unfair trial. They raise a vitally important First Amendment point.

Although Blagojevich is an unsympathetic petitioner, the court should hear his case. The disputed jury instructions pose risks to honest politicians and ordinary people who get active in election campaigns. In a world where politically-motivated prosecutions happen too often, a pro-free speech ruling would help cut these risks.

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