Issue: (1) Whether, in the context of a First-Amendment-protected
contribution to a judicial campaign, the
McCormick v. United States holding that campaign contributions
cannot constitute bribery unless “the payments
are made in return for an explicit promise or
undertaking by the official to perform or not to
perform an official act” mean “explicit,” or if not
an explicit agreement, a certain quality and
quantity of evidence is needed to permit a jury to
only infer that an explicit agreement existed; (2) whether this standard requires proof of an “explicit”
quid pro quo promise or undertaking in the
sense of actually being communicated expressly,
as various circuits have stated; or whether there can be
a conviction based instead only on the jury’s
inference that there was an unstated, inferred
and implied agreement, a state of mind,
connecting the contribution and the corrupt
official action; (3) whether a public official may be prosecuted for the
receipt of lawful campaign contributions in the
absence of sufficient evidence of an “explicit”
quid pro quo connection between those lawful
campaign contributions and some official act; and (4) whether there must be there be a specific link with or connection
between the giving of a campaign contribution
from a donor to a public official for use in a
political campaign and the latter’s performance
of a specific and particular official act in order to sustain an Honest Services statute conviction
and avoid a First Amendment concern.
On Monday at 9:30 a.m. we expect orders from the April 24 Conference. We expect one or more opinions in argued cases at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. We will be live-blogging beginning at 9:45.
This is the second week of the April sitting. On Tuesday the Court will hear oral argument in Obergefell v. Hodges, which is consolidated with three other cases, on the questions of whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires that states grant and/or recognize same-sex marriages. We will be live-blogging updates from the oral argument beginning at 11 a.m.
Glossip v. Gross The constitutionality under the Eighth Amendment of using a sedative as the first drug in a death penalty protocol.