“Supreme Court Eyes Ethics, Campaign Finance Law”

Bloomberg BNA:

The Supreme Court is set to consider in the coming weeks whether to grant review in two cases that could reshape the legal landscape for government ethics and campaign finance.
First, the justices are scheduled to consider at their private conference Jan. 8 a petition for certiorari from former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell (R) (McDonnell v. U.S., U.S. , No. 15-474, reply brief filed, 12/21/15). The petition asks the high court to overturn McDonnell’s conviction on corruption charges for taking more than $170,000 in gifts and cash provided by a Virginia businessman seeking help to promote a product.
A week later, on Jan. 15, the agenda for the justices’ conference includes a petition asking the high court to strike down a decades-old federal ban on all direct campaign contributions from government contractors (Miller v. Federal Election Commission, U.S., No. 15-428, reply brief filed, 12/22/15).
I think it is much more likely the Court will grant cert. in the McDonnell case (where the Court has already taken an extraordinary step in keeping McDonnell out of jail pending a cert. decision) than the government contractors case (where the Court can leave the status quo, and is not setting precedent as it does on decisions from three judge courts).

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