By overturning Sheldon Silver’s corruption conviction, the courts undermine public trust

Issue One Chief of Policy, Programs and Strategy Meredith McGehee issued the following statement in response to news that former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s 2015 conviction was overturned:

“It has been clear that the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA) is in desperate need of revision.

“There is a growing disconnect between ongoing jurisprudence dating back to the 1990s, from the Supreme Court on down, and a series of rulings on money in politics and ethics that are divorced from both reality and the majority of Americans’ understanding of acceptable ethics standards and practices.

“There has been bipartisan legislation to address the weaknesses in HLOGA, especially in dealing with the definition of ‘official acts’ — which almost passed during debate over the STOCK Act in 2012, and was blocked by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) to the detriment of good government and clear law.

“When the law is divorced from reasonable reality and commonplace understandings of corruption, it undermines public confidence in the judiciary and our elected leaders.”