Rod Blagojevich's judge scoffed at the ex-governor's request to "cancel" his trial, essentially calling it a publicity stunt.
U.S. District Judge James Zagel said he had no legal authority to dismiss charges, that's something only prosecutors can do.
Blagojevich had asked Zagel to cancel his second trial and sentence him immediately.
Zagel said he believed the request was "intended for an audience different than the court."
But attorneys after court said their filing wasn't simply a press release.
Attorney Lauren Kaeseberg said a defendant does have a right to a speedy trial and a right to assistance of counsel but Blagojevich's team -- which is getting taxpayer funding -- hadn't been paid for months.
They say they could not submit vouchers to get public funding until the judge appointed them.
That appointment didn't come until February. When they submitted their bills, which dated back to October, they hit an impasse facing publicly appointed defense lawyers nationwide: their payment was delayed. They have since been paid through January, Kaeseberg said. Future funding uncertainty remains, however, as Congress has hinted toward cuts to the judiciary.
So did the motion die?
Zagel said he couldn't formally rule on it because lawyers hadn't formally "presented" it to him. Typically, lawyers "notice" a motion to a judge, a secondary entry that alerts the judge to a motion and asks to schedule a court time for debate.
The practice has sometimes been followed in the case, but sometimes not.
Zagel's remarks evolved into a civics lesson, explaining the separation of powers and how he, as part of the judiciary, had no control over the executive branch (prosecutors).
Attorney Sheldon Sorosky said he'd properly "notice" the motion.
But Zagel made clear the filing had no hope.