On Wednesday, Supreme Court Justices appeared ready to throw out a 2014 conviction for corruption. This wasn’t just a typical corruption case as the Defendant is the former Governor of Virginia.
In 2014, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was convicted of corruption charges and sentenced to two years. The problem with this conviction is that federal corruption laws are vague and could be unconstitutional.
The other issue Justice’s seemed to have with the corruption charges is that they could interfere with a politician’s daily duties. If a politician works with a CEO to find tax incentives is this corruption? What if those found tax incentives bring hundreds of jobs to the Governors state? What if the CEO sends a bottle of wine to the Governor to thank him for his help finding said tax incentives?
So where do “everyday” actions of politicians start and where do they stop? Like most politics there are some gray areas. So if Governor Bob McDonnell gets a new trial it is clearly due to the fact that corruption charges against politicians fall into this gray area. It is also due to the fact that politics is closer to theory than a clearly defined science.