CS Monitor: “The law’s fine line between graft and access”

Christian Science Monitor Editorial Board (27 June 2016) –  “In a rare unanimous ruling, the US Supreme Court has overturned the corruption conviction of a former Virginia governor, Robert McDonnell. The high court’s decision said the judge in Mr. McDonnell’s trial failed to tell a jury that it must look only at his “official acts,” or the former governor’s decisions on “specific” and “pending” issues related to his duties.”

The Supreme Court Case, McDonnell v. United States set an important precedent for the future of our democracy. Before this historic case, there were no specific regulations pertaining to a constituents’ access to their elected officials, or the relationships they could have. It created a challenge for elected officials, who wanted to build relationships with community leaders, but feared it could violate ambiguous federal and state regulations. This case set a precedent protecting elected officials’ ability to build and maintain relationships with their constituents, without fear of retribution.

Governor McDonnell’s justice will go down in history as a success for democracy and a landmark case in our legal system.