Mr. Percoco “was able to attend internal government meetings that no one else from outside the government was able to attend,” Ms. Reaves said. “He continued to have key card access. He continued to order his former secretary around. He continued to use government phones and offices.”

Justice Elena Kagan said Ms. Reaves’s argument went too far. It’s one thing. to Officials who make a mistake in their official capacity should be prosecuted “little hiatus” Do not hesitate to engage in graft with the knowledge that they will return to The government. Ms. Reaves would focus on whether someone is a functional official of the government, but she would also include many other types of people looking for employment. to Justice Kagan stated that influence can be used to affect official actions.

“You don’t have to be a former official,” Justice Kagan said of the lawyer’s theory. “You don’t need to be a future official.” It shouldn’t be enough, she stated. to Be “just a really, really good lobbyist.”

Justice Thomas appeared averse to federal prosecutions for state officials. He suggested that state politics should only be policened by local authorities.

“The State of New York doesn’t seem to be upset about this arrangement,” He spoke out about the payments to Mr. Percoco, adding, “It seems as though we are using a federal law to impose ethical standards on state activity.”

In public corruption cases, the justices don’t always split along the same lines. 2020 will see the court unanimously overturned the convictions of two defendants in the so-called Bridgegate scandal, in which associates of Chris Christie, New Jersey’s governor, closed access lanes to 2013 George Washington Bridge to punish one of the governor’s political opponents. The court ruled that it was an abuse of power but not a federal crime.

The court also did the same in 2016. unanimously overturned Bob McDonnell, a former governor in Virginia, was found guilty of accepting luxury products, loans and vacations as compensation from a businessman. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the court that he narrowed the criteria for corruption charges.