This website uses cookies. For more information please contact us or consult our privacy policy.

Your binder contains too many pages, the maximum is 40.

We are unable to add this page to your binder, please try again later.

This page has been added to your binder.

The Supreme Court Redraws the Lines for Corruption Prosecutions

June 29, 2016, Covington Alert

The Ferrari carrying former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell appears to have made a U-turn this week on its way to the federal penitentiary. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court set a new standard for federal corruption cases as it vacated Governor McDonnell’s conviction. McDonnell v. United States, 579 U.S. ___ (June 27, 2016). The court held that a public official does not violate federal law simply by taking a benefit in exchange for arranging a meeting with or providing access to public officials and employees, or asking those employees to consider an issue. Instead, the official must take action or make a decision—or agree to do so—on a specific and focused matter that involves a formal exercise of government power, including advising or pressuring others to take an action or make a decision. But, as described below, the consequences of McDonnell should not be exaggerated.

Share this article: