The six judges and three others charged in the scheme say there's no evidence the defendants took bribes or kickbacks. Their lawyer says money must change hands to be convicted of federal mail or wire fraud.
But U.S. District Judge Robert Kelly, in a ruling this week, says the indictment alleges the city and state lost money when tickets were fixed for friends and political allies. He believes that's enough to send the case to trial.
The January indictment portrayed the traffic court as a pit of patronage and corruption.
Three of the nine judges initially charged have pleaded guilty.