Supreme Court To Hear Bob McDonnell's Appeal On Corruption Conviction
January 16, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided they will hear Bob McDonnell's appeal on his 2014 public corruption convictions.

McDonnell appealed the verdicts on the basis that the definition of bribery was overly broad.

The Obama administration urged the court to reject the appeal, saying the jury had ample evidence of bribery.

But Republicans and Democrats who once worked in the Justice Department and White House joined McDonnell in contending that the overly broad definition of bribery on which he was convicted would make a crime of routine actions by elected officials on behalf of their constituents.

The case will be argued in April, with a decision expected by the end of June.

The justices have taken on several cases in recent years that claimed prosecutors were too aggressive in their pursuit of white-collar crimes. In 2010, the court narrowed the use of an anti-fraud law that was central in convicting politicians and corporate executives in many of the nation's most prominent corruption cases.

Last year, the justices also declined to hear the government's appeal of a lower court ruling that threw out insider trading convictions.

The action Friday was not a surprise because the justices voted in August to allow McDonnell to postpone the start of his two-year prison term while his appeal was being considered. Such votes typically signal the court will hear the full appeal.

Good news for McDonnell; likely bad news for the rest of us.

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