With the filing of a reply brief on behalf of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, McDonnell v. United States is ready for oral argument before the United States Supreme Court in two weeks. At issue in the case is the trial court’s stunningly broad definition of “official act,” which encompassed not only powers deriving from the Constitution and laws of Virginia, but also those which by practice and custom have come to be regarded as part of the office. Recent developments–including the death of Justice Scalia and the Court’s recent denial of cert in former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s appeal–have been viewed as blows to McDonnell’s prospects. But the Court has not been narrowly divided along partisan lines in recent high-profile corruption cases–see the Court’s 9-0 decision in Skilling, as well as its subsequent orders in Black and Weyrauch–and Blagojevich’s corrupt act, the attempted auction of a seat in the United States Senate, was squarely within the powers of the Governor of Illinois as established by law, not practice or custom. I believe (and hope) that the Court will exonerate Governor McDonnell.