The Letter Of The Law

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By Patrick Appel
Law-blogger Rick Hills wonders when it is  it illegal for a politician to sell government jobs:

Does the indictment against Blagojevich rest on the theory that rewarding fund-raisers with plum jobs constitutes an instance of mail fraud -- that is, depriving the people of Illinois of their intangible right to honest services? Or does the case rest entirely on the allegations that Blagojevich demanded money for his personal use? If the former is the case, then the indictment is an extraordinary power grab by a U.S. Attorney. If the latter, then there is nothing in the tape revealed so far that could form the slightest basis for a prosecution of Jesse Jackson, Jr. for offering a bribe in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1346.

Volokh had similar questions a few days ago.

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