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Petition of the day

The petition of the day is:


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.

Recommended Citation: Mary Pat Dwyer, Petition of the day, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 25, 2014, 10:05 PM),