Federal prosecutors say former Gov. Bob McDonnell is putting too much stock in Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s declaration that “ingratiation and access … are not corruption.”
Kennedy made the statement in his 2010 Citizens United ruling. In that campaign finance case, the court ruled that the government cannot stop corporations and unions from spending money to back or denounce candidates.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. repeated Kennedy’s line in his April 2 opinion in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, in which the court struck down aggregate limits on campaign contributions in a two-year election cycle.