McDonnell v. United States and the limits of federal corruption law.

An Unlikely Defense of Virginia’s Disgraced Former Governor

An Unlikely Defense of Virginia’s Disgraced Former Governor

Law and the Supreme Court justices who interpret it.
April 30 2016 9:23 AM

Amicus: This Is Not Corruption

Why the appearance of quid pro quo may not be enough to uphold the conviction of Virginia’s former governor.


Listen to Episode 43 of Slate’s Amicus:


This week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in McDonnell v. United States, an appeal of the 2014 corruption conviction of Virginia’s former governor. The facts of the case read a bit like a reality show, with Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife affording access to a wealthy businessman in exchange for Rolex watches, fancy ball gowns, and expensive golf clubs. But on this episode of the podcast, former federal Judge Nancy Gertner argues that prosecutors interpreted an anti-corruption law too broadly and so McDonnell’s conviction should be thrown out. (Gertner co-authored an amicus brief in support of McDonnell—you can read it here.)

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Podcast production by Tony Field.

Dahlia Lithwick writes about the courts and the law for Slate and hosts the podcast Amicus.