NBC Chicago: Current and Former Lawmakers Ask High Court to Hear Blagojevich Case (In the News)

NBC Chicago: Current and Former Lawmakers Ask High Court to Hear Blagojevich Case

By Phil Rogers

Emphasizing they take no position on Blagojevich’s guilt or innocence, the lawmakers emphasize the need to clarify once and for all the vagueries of campaign finance law in the United States.

“This court’s guidance is needed to distinguish the lawful solicitation and donation of campaign contributions from criminal violations of federal extortion, bribery, and fraud laws,” the lawmakers wrote in the brief filed Monday, noting that the court’s landmark McCormick decision stated flatly that political candidates can’t “realistically avoid soliciting campaign funds from the very constituents whose interests they may later advance through the support of specific legislation.” …

In a second brief filed in support of Blagojevich getting his day before the high court, the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers agreed that the current rules surrounding campaign finance are confusing at best.

“A correct determination of what words and actions are legal and what are not legal is absolutely critical,” the defense lawyers wrote…

Two other groups also filed amicus briefs in support of the court taking Blagojevich’s case, the Institute for Free Speech, and the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law.

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The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.