The Supreme Court’s opinion today illustrates yet again the limited reach of criminal bribery laws in fighting corruption.
Bribery laws do not reach government officials who set up special meetings or other forms of preferential access for gift givers, campaign contributors and future employers. The Court recognizes that such conduct may be unsavory but it is not criminal.
This makes preventative ethics rules – campaign finance, gifts to public officials and revolving door rules -- that much more important. I discuss government ethics rules – and the very limited effectiveness of criminal prohibitions overall -- here:
I discuss campaign finance in particular here: