The death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia greatly decreases the chances of former Gov. Bob McDonnell having his conviction on corruption charges dismissed and of new court-ordered congressional district boundaries being tossed out, Virginia professors said Sunday.
“Both cases will still be argued before the court, I think,” said Steve Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. “But the chances of McDonnell winning and chances of Hampton Roads districts going back to previous lines are both pretty unlikely….”
In the McDonnell case, a tie would mean the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals’ July ruling to uphold his corruption conviction would be affirmed.
In January, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would review the McDonnell case.
“The judges who have ruled so far in the McDonnell case have consistently said he should go to jail,” Farnsworth said. “It’ll be a hard case for the McDonnell team to go before the court without Scalia.”