Politicians accused of illegal influence peddling, bribe-taking and other crimes have been given fresh hope that a year-old U.S. Supreme Court ruling will get them off the hook.
Ever since the high court reversed a jury verdict against former Virginia Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, and in doing so tweaked the legal definition of a corrupt act, a growing list of politicians including Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and others have used the ruling to try to win a new trial or force an end to their prosecutions.
The results so far have been mixed.
In New York, a court last month ordered a new trial for former State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. The Democrat was so emboldened by the decision that he petitioned the Supreme Court to toss his case entirely without a retrial.
In New Jersey, Menendez, also a Democrat, lost a bid Tuesday to get a judge to use the McDonnell ruling as reason to dismiss corruption charges…
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