Justice Department Says 1995 Corruption Ruling is Wrong. What Does it Mean for Aaron Schock?

Mar 15, 2018

The Justice Department says in a new filing in former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock's corruption case that a 1995 ruling that's long provided guidance in the prosecution of politicians is wrong.

It argues that the ruling in the corruption case of another Illinois politician, Dan Rostenkowski, was wrong to conclude that prosecuting federal lawmakers based on ambiguous rules lawmakers wrote violates separation of powers.

Wednesday's filing responds to Schock's appeal to the 7th U.S. District Court of Appeal. Schock asks that his case be dismissed, citing the Rostenkowski ruling.

The 1995 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia says permitting charges based on ambiguous rules would force prosecutors and judges to interpret congressional rules, infringing on legislative-branch independence. 

The new filing says that misreads the U.S. Constitution.