Disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has filed a lawsuit challenging the Illinois General Assembly’s ruling that prohibits him from running for any state or local office in Illinois because of his 2009 impeachment. 

“I’m back from the dead, and it’s good to be alive again,” Blagojevich told reporters. He added that his case is “about the people’s right to choose their own leaders.” 

Blagojevich, 64, was impeached for trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat in December of 2008, along with shaking down executives from a children’s hospital and the horse racing industry for campaign contributions in exchange for official acts of office. In June 2011, he was later removed from office by a vote of 59-0, was convicted on 17 counts, and sentenced to 14 years in prison.

In February 2020, his sentence was commuted by former President Donald Trump. In 2010, Blagojevich had appeared on the NBC reality program, "The Celebrity Apprentice," which had Trump as a judge.

Blagojevich is seeking a permanent injunction from a federal judge, declaring the ruling unconstitutional.

“I haven’t thought about running for office," he said. "But I’m not going to rule out any options either."

He added that it is "unconstitutional to pass a law against one person saying he or she can’t run for anything."

Since being released from prison, Blagojevich says he keeps himself busy by jogging, doing consulting work, and giving speeches. He added that he has a “surprisingly lucrative” side job working for a website where customers pay for personalized messages of celebrities and hosts a weekly podcast called “The Lightning Rod.” 

Blagojevich said he is also considering getting his law license back.

Blagojevich is the fourth of Illinois past seven governors who have been sent to prison.