- Legal News Updates
- Law Center
- Legal Business
- Court News Center
- Law Firm News
- Legal Interviews
- Headline News
- Political and Legal
- Practice Focuses
- Legal Spotlight
- Events & Seminars
- Legal Marketing
- Court Watch
- Immigration Law
- Media Center
- Justice Stories
- Supreme Court blocks some redrawn North Carolina districts
- Court allows Pennsylvania to redraw GOP-favored district map
- Court rules that Kushner firm must disclose partners' names
- Court rules Puigdemont must return to Spain for re-election
- Analysis: Outside groups may factor in Arkansas court race
- Pennsylvania GOP take gerrymandering case to US high court
- Top Pakistani court orders arrest of escaped police officer
- Malaysia's top court annuls unilateral conversions of minors
- Officials ask court to send Kennedy cousin back to prison
- Travel ban is headed back to a federal appeals court in Virginia
Justices across the ideological spectrum expressed major concerns that the laws give prosecutors too much power to criminalize the everyday acts that politician perform to help constituents.
Chief Justice John Roberts said it was "extraordinary" that dozens of former White House attorneys from Democratic and Republican administrations submitted legal papers saying that upholding McDonnell's conviction would cripple the ability of elected officials to do their jobs.
"I think it's extraordinary that those people agree on anything," Roberts said.
Justice Breyer said the law presents "a real separation of powers problem" and "puts at risk behavior that is common."
"That's a recipe for giving the Department of Justice and prosecutors enormous power over elected officials," Breyer said.
McDonnell, who was in the courtroom with his wife Maureen to watch the arguments, was convicted in 2014 of accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from a wealthy businessman in exchange for promoting a dietary supplement.
At issue is a federal law that bars public officials from accepting money or gifts in exchange for "official acts." The court is expected to clarify what distinguishes bribery from the routine actions that politicians often perform as a courtesy to constituents.
But the justices struggled over how to draw that line. Both Roberts and Breyer suggested the bribery law could be considered unconstitutionally vague.
Legal News Media
Legal News Organization press is the top headline legal news provider for lawyers and legalprofessionals. Read law articles and breaking news from law firm's across the United States to get the latest updates. The content contained on the web site has been prepared by Legal News Media as a service to the internet
community and is not intended to constitute legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.