Former Gov. McDonnell's Attorneys Prepare for Supreme Court Hearing

Apr 14, 2016

Credit File Photo: Anne Marie Morgan

Lawyers involved in the corruption conviction of former Governor Bob McDonnell have been busy with a flurry of legal briefs back and forth as the date for oral arguments approaches at the U.S. Supreme Court. 

None of the facts in the briefs are new, and many of the arguments have been rehashed through the trial and the appeal. But now that the case is before justices, it’s being presented in a different way. White-collar defense attorney Michael Levy says that’s because the Supreme Court is a different audience, one that sees itself as responsible for reigning in government excess.

“The Supreme Court overturned broad interpretations of federal criminal statues nine to nothing in the Jeff Skilling case, in the Sun Diamond case, in the Arthur Anderson case."

Carl Tobias at the University of Richmond Law School says the briefs to Supreme Court justices are aimed at broadening the discussion beyond Virginia, arguing that letting the decision stand will hamper all politicians and normal political behavior. 

“It certainly turns up the pressure and tries to generalize beyond just a specific litigant. Whether the court will agree with that or not is not clear. We’ll just have to see."

Oral arguments are set for April 27th.