From the Times-Picayune:

Acting with unusual speed, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today refused Rep. William Jefferson’s request to throw out most of the 16 corruption charges setting the stage for a trial in 2009.

Jefferson can appeal the ruling by the Richmond, Va. based court to the U.S. Supreme Court, which could prevent a trial early next year. …

Jefferson, who is running for a 10th term in a Dec. 6 general election, is accused of bribery, racketeering and other charges as part of scheme the Justice Department says involved payments to family controlled businesses in return for his help winning contracts, mostly in Western Africa. He has maintained his innocence.