Political law links, 7-17

MCDONNELL CASE DOMINOES.   NYT.  “While cautioning that Mr. Silver, a Democrat, may yet be convicted at a retrial, several legal experts said his case had set a precedent that could affect those of other politicians found guilty of corruption — and could also have a chilling effect on new public integrity investigations.”

SOME LAWS UNCONSTITUTIONAL.   Hill.  “The founders would have found the congressional law mandating disclosure of contributors to political advertising to be a gross—and very dangerous—violation of the First Amendment.”

FOREIGN NATIONAL BAN AND THE CONSTITUTION.   NYM.  “These and other scenarios are meant to illustrate how the federal ban on foreign nationals making election-related contributions — including ‘anything of value’ to a campaign, which would encompass the Clinton dirt — would sweep far too broadly. And when a ban lends itself to such a ‘substantially broad’ reading, Volokh explains, that means the ban itself is unconstitutional on its face.”

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND CRIMINAL LAW.   BM.  “The US Supreme Court clearly recognizes that campaign finance laws are criminal laws. Indeed, the present Supreme Court often points to the criminal consequences as one of the problems with campaign finance laws.”

ANTI-CRUZ PAC.   Politico.  “Democrats appear to have formed a new super PAC to attack Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), based on the meme that Cruz is the Zodiac killer.”

OGE DIRECTOR PARTING WORDS.   NYT.  “Actions by President Trump and his administration have created a historic ethics crisis, the departing head of the Office of Government Ethics said. He called for major changes in federal law to expand the power and reach of the oversight office and combat the threat.”

GRANDSTANDING ON THE WAY OUT.   WSJ.  “We interrupt this week’s Don Jr. loop to tell a tale of a real ethics scandal. It’s one perpetrated not by the Trump administration, but by the man atop Washington’s ethics-industrial complex: Walter Shaub.”

MD:  NO COMPLAINT.   BS. “Gov. Larry Hogan’s office does not plan to file an ethics complaint against the president of the state Senate, who they accused of pressing the administration to interfere in a decision to approve open-heart surgery at a hospital in Annapolis.”

PA:  RESURFACED LOBBYISTS.   GE.   “The former Greene County Democrat served 36 years in the state House before his 2012 felony conviction for using state resources for political gain. He now enjoys prowling the halls of Harrisburg on behalf of union clients.”


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