Government & Politics

An in-depth look at the issues and policies of our government from the local, state and national levels.

Photo: Taber Andrew Bain, Creative Commons

Virginia's car-title lending industry has exploded in the six years since the General Assembly crafted regulations legalizing loans that have more than 200 percent interest rates. But Virginia is not alone. States across the country are struggling to deal with payday loans and Internet loans and open-ended credit loans - a set of financial products critics call "predatory lending." 

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Although the line of questioning by jurists in any appeals case does not necessarily indicate how they're leaning, in the appeal of former Governor McDonnell’s corruption convictions, the U.S. Supreme Court justices did not seem comfortable with the broad interpretation of the federal law used to convict him. 

Former Gov. McDonnell's Appeal: What's at Stake

Apr 26, 2016
File Photo: Anne Marie Morgan

Just a few years ago, Bob McDonnell was a rising star in Republican politics. Now his fate is before the United States Supreme Court, which will hear oral arguments Wednesday in the case that destroyed his political career and ripped his marriage apart. 

McDonnell’s lawyers say sure the governor took gifts and loans from a wealthy businessman who wanted favors from the government. But, they say, the businessman didn’t get what he wanted. And more to the point, if justices let the decision stand it will criminalize everyday political behavior. 

Ethics Questions: Reconsidering the Rules on Gifts

Apr 25, 2016
Creative Commons

The old saying goes there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But what about elected officials? Should they have to track the value of every meal they are given? 

The case against former Governor Bob McDonnell was that he took things in exchange for official actions, a prosecution that will be heard before the United States Supreme Court this week. That’s why Carl Tobias at the University of Richmond Law School says tightening up on rules about gifts no-brainer.

File Photo: Anne Marie Morgan

Lawyers involved in the corruption conviction of former Governor Bob McDonnell have been busy with a flurry of legal briefs back and forth as the date for oral arguments approaches at the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Pages