Lawmakers facing corruption charges see hope in court ruling

NEW YORK (AP) — Onetime lawmakers facing corruption charges are keeping judges busy with claims that a Supreme Court ruling narrowing the definition of public corruption proves their innocence.

From New Jersey to New York to Chicago, federal judges and the appeals courts above them are contending with the effect of the June 2016 decision. The high court reversed the conviction of former Virginia Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, finding that merely setting up meetings or calling other public officials does not qualify as an "official act."

So far, citing the ruling has won ex-New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, a new trial on corruption charges. But it hasn't so far helped former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY'-uh-vihch) get relief from the 14-year prison sentence he is serving after his public corruption conviction.