Gov. Blagojevich prosecution
Curtis, Michael K.
curtismk at wfu.edu
Tue Dec 9 11:39:09 PST 2008
This sort of use of bribery statutes is open to grave political abuse,
since horse trading is common. The temptation to selectively go after
ones political opponents (or enemies in the Nixon world) is too great.
From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of Volokh, Eugene
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2008 12:00 PM
To: conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: Gov. Blagojevich prosecution
Governor Blagojevich is accused of a wide range of corrupt
behavior, including attempts to get private sector jobs and other
financial benefits in exchange for his appointing someone as Senator in
place of President-Elect Obama. But one small item struck me as
particularly interesting (see
"Defendants ROD BLAGOJEVICH and JOHN HARRIS, together with others,
attempted to use ROD BLAGOJEVICH's authority to appoint a United States
Senator for the purpose of obtaining personal benefits for ROD
BLAGOJEVICH, including, among other things, appointment as Secretary of
Health & Human Services in the President-elect's administration ...."
"ROD BLAGOJEVICH has been intercepted conspiring to trade the senate
seat for particular positions that the President-elect has the
power to appoint (e.g. the Secretary of Health and Human Services)."
It's certainly true that a position as Secretary of Health &
Human Services is of financial value, and it pays more than the
Governorship of Illinois. So I take it that under normal bribery
statutes, it might well be that trading a Senatorial appointment for a
cabinet position is illegal just as is trading a Senatorial appointment
for cash. But is it constitutional to prohibit this sort of political
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