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 March 7 Conference, followed by one or more opinions in argued cases at 10:00 a.m. The live blog will be available here beginning at 9:15. The next Conference is scheduled for March 21. Our list of "Petitions to watch" for that Conference will be available soon.
Upcoming Oral Arguments
Wood v. Moss Secret Service agents’ plea for immunity from lawsuit for actions taken against demonstrators who were opposed to the president’s policies.
Clark v. Rameker Whether an Individual Retirement Account that an individual inherited rather than created personally is exempted from a bankruptcy estate
Catsimatidis v. Irizarry Whether an individual may be held personally liable
for a corporation’s violation of the Fair Labor
Standards Act merely
because the individual had general control over corporate
affairs, but exercised no personal responsibility
over the conduct that caused the violation.
Justice Elena Kagan delivers the 2014 Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecture on Women and the Law at the New York City Bar Association, where (among other things) she attributes the “gulf between Justice Ginsburg’s career and” hers to the work of Justice Ginsburg herself.
Awarded the Peabody Award for excellence in electronic media.
Sigma Delta Chi
Awarded the Sigma Delta Chi deadline reporting award for online coverage of the Affordable Care Act decision.
National Press Club Award
Awarded the National Press Club's Breaking News Award for coverage of the Affordable Care Act decision.
Silver Gavel Award
Awarded the Silver Gavel Award by the American Bar Association for fostering the American public’s understanding of the law and the legal system.
American Gavel Award
Awarded the American Gavel Award for Distinguished Reporting About the Judiciary to recognize the highest standards of reporting about courts and the justice system.