I think there are a lot of people in federal institutions who are going to be filing motions, Brand said, but he added that the Supreme Court decision will not lead to a reversal in every instance: Each case is going to be different because it depends what they pled to, what they are convicted of.In the meantime, legal experts said the courts decision would likely prompt federal prosecutors to largely abandon the honest services statute, although several said prosecutors had already been avoiding such charges pending the outcome of the Supreme Court challenges. Instead, prosecutors are expected to rely on existing statutes such as false statement prohibitions and disclosure regulations.The sky is not falling on federal prosecutors, said Levenson, a former U.S. attorney. Theres plenty of weapons still left in their arsenal. ... In many of those cases there are other statutes that will apply. I think it became too easy for prosecutors to rely on this one.Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said Thursday that the ethics watchdog group is pushing Congress to fill the gap with a new provision.This is definitely a big problem. This was the single crime most charged against public officials, and now you cant use it. Sloan said. This is a great boon for corrupt public officials everywhere.The group is advocating the expansion of a federal law that currently applies only to executive branch employees, prohibiting those individuals from using their official positions to affect their personal financial interests. Were already meeting with people on the Hill, Sloan said. They recognize it as a problem.The Supreme Court issued its ruling in a case involving former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling, who argued that the honest services law was too vague.The court also heard appeals on the law in separate cases involving ex-Hollinger International Chairman Conrad Black and Alaska state Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch (R).
On January 3, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., raises her right hand as her son Henry messes up her hair while Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., delivers the ceremonial swearing-in in the Old Senate Chamber. Gillibrand's other son Theodore, lower right, looks on.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.