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And The Other SCOTUS Cases...Guns And McDonnell

The other two cases announced today....
And The Other SCOTUS Cases...Guns And McDonnell
Image from: NBC Nightly News

Two other Supreme Court decisions were handed down this morning.

The Supreme Court unanimously overturned the conviction of Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell for corruption, agreeing with him that while he received expensive gifts from a wealthy supporter while in office, the things he did for that donor were routine favors he would have done for any donor and did not constitute a quid-pro-quo. Today's decision means the state could pursue another trial for McDonnell, but this seems unlikely.

At oral argument in April, a clear majority of justices expressed concern that current laws allow prosecutors to characterize common favors as criminal acts.

"Our concern is not with tawdry tales of Ferraris, Rolexes and ball gowns," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote. "It is instead with the broader legal implications of the government's boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute. A more limited interpretation of the term 'official act' leaves ample room for prosecution corruption, while comporting with the text of the statute and the precedent of this court."

In the other case, the Court decided that a person convicted of domestic violence, even in cases where the crime was deemed 'reckless' rather than 'intentional', is nevertheless prohibited from owning a firearm. Kagan delivered the decision: (pdf)

Federal law prohibits any person convicted of a “misdemeanor
crime of domestic violence” from possessing a
firearm. 18 U. S. C. §922(g)(9). That phrase is defined to
include any misdemeanor committed against a domestic
relation that necessarily involves the “use . . . of physical
force.” §921(a)(33)(A). The question presented here is
whether misdemeanor assault convictions for reckless (as
contrasted to knowing or intentional) conduct trigger the
statutory firearms ban. We hold that they do.

And yeah, that's another victory for women.


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