By Associated Press - Thursday, April 23, 2020

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review an appellate decision that mandates a new sentencing hearing for the man who tackled U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and broke his ribs.

The Supreme Court’s denial this week doesn’t constitute an opinion on the merits of the appeal by Rene Boucher, the Daily News reported.

Attorneys for Boucher argued that a resentencing hearing violates his constitutional rights entitling him to due process and protecting him against double jeopardy. Boucher has already served a 30-day sentence for the 2017 attack outside the senator’s home.

Boucher tackled Paul in anger over a lawn maintenance issue along their property line, breaking six of Paul’s ribs. Paul suffered bouts of pneumonia and underwent surgery to remove part of his damaged lung.

A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that there was “no compelling justification” for Boucher’s sentence. The judges called the sentence “well-below-guidelines” and ordered a resentencing.

Federal prosecutors said 21 months would be a more appropriate sentence after Boucher pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress.

The Supreme Court’s ruling sends the case back before U.S. District Court in Bowling Green and Special Judge Marianne Battani, who imposed the initial sentence.

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