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Monday, June 27, 2016

Chief Justice Roberts stands tall in the McDonnell case

The Supreme Court unanimously overturned the conviction of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, a Republican, in a stunning, unequivocal rebuke of the abuse of federal prosecutoral powers by the worse-than-Nixon Obama administration. The court was dead serious as Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the decision.

From the Washington Post:
“If the court below determines that there is sufficient evidence for a jury to convict Governor McDonnell of committing or agreeing to commit an ‘official act,’ his case may be set for a new trial,” Roberts wrote. “If the court instead determines that the evidence is insufficient, the charges against him must be dismissed. We express no view on that question.”
Roberts added: “There is no doubt that this case is distasteful; it may be worse than that. But our concern is not with tawdry tales of Ferraris, Rolexes, and ball gowns. It is instead with the broader legal implications of the government’s boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute.”
McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were convicted by a federal jury in 2014, and McDonnell was close to reporting to prison before the Supreme Court decided to take his case.
The McDonnell case stems from more than $175,000 in loans and gifts — a Rolex watch, vacations, partial payments of a daughter’s wedding reception, among them — that the governor and his family received from Richmond businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr. Williams, the chief executive of Star Scientific, wanted state universities to perform important clinical tests on a dietary supplement the company had developed.
The gifts were not barred by Virginia law, and the tests were not conducted.
That last sentence is chilling. What their governor did was perfectly legal under state law.

Who the hell are federal prosecutors to overturn a state law like that?

Virginia decides that, not some Democratic political hack in Washington.


  1. "Virginia decides that, not some Democratic political hack in Washington."
    You mean like the Texas abortion law the Supreme Court struck down today??

  2. Roberts and Kennedy did something in the cause of justice?

    Whoda thunk?

  3. If John Roberts stands tall, he's about the stature of a dwarf.

    McDonnell was indicted and convicted in Federal court for violations of the Federal Hobbs Act. Virginia state law is irrelevant in this case. SCOTUS vacated the decision of the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on legal technicalities, reminding the case for further proceedings as to the proper legal definition of an "official act." SCOTUS also ruled that the District Court's instructions to the trial jury were in error on this same point. SCOTUS made no determination regarding McDonnell's innocence or guilt. His case now goes back to the Appeals Court, which can then order a new trial of McDonnell for corruption under the federal statute in the federal District Court. McDonnell is not out of the woods by a long shot. Depending on the federal prosecutor's mood at being overturned by the DC Gang of Eight, McDonnell may well be forced to go through the entire federal trial process again.

    1. mr autocorrect, that's "remanding" not "reminding" if you please

  4. Roberts protects a single defendant with the blink of an eye, while carefully screwing the entire population by declaring Obamacare as a tax. Meanwhile back at the ranch everyone's personal healthcare costs are through the roof - with no end in sight.

    1. The McDonnell case was a slam dunk for Roberts. All he had to do was what he did in the RobertsCare case, namely, side with the united block of liberal associate justices. The decision of the Court in the McDonnell case was unanimous, so none of the justices had to bestir him/herself to think very hard. It was all love and comity, making it the best kind of "fun" case because at the end of the day no one on the bench had to lick his/her wounds from being on the losing side. All the kiddies got a gold star for participating. Yay!!!!!

    2. Well said both times Mr Iapetus. Roberts is not the great jurist b he was billed to be nor even a good leader. Ever since he caved to Obama he has been held in contempt by his peers and most of all by Obama and his supporters. The love and respect he hoped to see flower for his court by his cooperation with the Democrats withered into contempt from both sides.

  5. Remember Ted Stevens? Same kind of shenanigans by Democrats then. Need penalties for wrongful prosecutions, especially when political gains are involved. Like the eventual punishment Cicero got for executing Catiline. Beheaded and his head and hands nailed over the entrance to the Senate house.

  6. Wow, I'm surprised the Court didn't think that they deserved to redefine the state law at will since they seem to wipe their asses with the 10th Amendment these days. Justice Roberts: despised and mistrusted by the right, and only seen as a sometime useful idiot by the left (but otherwise, despised by them as well).

  7. The ultimate goal of the liberals is to obviate the state legislatures and judiciaries: they will continue to exist, technically, but no substantive issues will be determined by anything they do.