Courtesy of the Sun Herald, Paul Minor’s petition for certiorari is available online.
After a quick glance, they basically make two arguments
1. That Minor’s “campaign contributions” to Teel and Whitfield should be protected by free speech and the 1st amendment. The problem is the vast majority of the contributions were personal contributions in nature (to Teel – over $100K). Even if SCOTUS gets over that issue, they have to get across another hurdle.
2. They argue that the “campaign contributions” in the form of loans is legal under MS law. That may be true, but intent is certainly an issue. This case is a stinker because the facts behind this are so bad for Minor. They ACTED AND THOUGHT like they were guilty. Backdated promissory notes, mail fraud, cash in envelopes, talking about the FBI probe, strawman loan payoffs because of involvement in cases . . . Minor, Whitfield and Teel weren’t relying on the fact that what they were doing was legal until after they got busted. They were all acting like they were mortally afraid of getting busted, which of course, they did.
Most people in the know think that SCOTUS will deal with honest services somehow. SCOTUS-watchers in DC that I have talked to think this won’t be a case they’ll take up to do it. It’s too messy. It’s been made too political and the facts are bad. They may “split the baby” on honest services, but I am still very skeptical that it will result in a get out of jail free card for Minor.
Cue Puffington and the farleft criminal apologist wingnuts in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1.