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121 Penn St. L. Rev. 1013 (2016-2017)
A Way Forward for Congress on Bribery after McDonnell

handle is hein.journals/dlr121 and id is 1057 raw text is: 






A   Way Forward for Congress on Bribery
After McDonnell


Jennifer   Ahearn*


                            ABSTRACT

     When  the Supreme  Court unanimously  struck down  the bribery
conviction of Virginia Governor  Robert  McDonnell,  it did  so on
statutory grounds, but its opinion included ominous language about
constitutional concerns the Court had with a broader interpretation of
the statute. If Congress wants to amend the bribery statute so that the
McDonnell   decision  does  not  result in an   excessively narrow
interpretation of the statute in the future, it would be wise to do so
bearing in mind the constitutional issues the McDonnell court raised.
     This article proposes that Congress could account for these concerns
by taking, as a starting point, language in the existing federal financial
conflicts of interest statute and related regulations promulgated by the
Office of Government Ethics, which are appropriately broad and contain
detail that would be helpful to public officials and others seeking to
conform their conduct to the law.

                         Table of Contents

I.    INTR ODUCTION ................................................................................... 1013
II.   THE PROBLEM IDENTIFIED IN MCDONNELL......................................... 1014
III.  CURRENT  STATUS OF THE FEDERAL BRIBERY STATUTE ..................... 1017
IV.   SOURCES OF A PROPOSED AMENDMENT  ............................................. 1019
V.    FORMS OF A POSSIBLE AMENDMENT .................................................. 1021
V I.  C ON CLU SION ......................................................................................1024


I.   INTRODUCTION
     On  the  last day of  the 2015-16   term, the  Supreme  Court
unanimously  struck down  the bribery conviction of former Virginia


*  Policy Counsel, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The views
expressed in this Article are mine alone.


1013

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