On Monday, May 9, Governor Phil Murphy conditionally vetoed legislation aimed at addressing a perceived judicial misinterpretation of the law concerning political bribery. A-2472 was introduced after federal and state trial courts both interpreted New Jersey’s current political bribery law in a way that precluded candidates not currently holding office from being subjected to the law. These lower courts’ decisions were later overturned by the state Appellate Division.
The Governor’s conditional veto seeks the same goal as the underlying legislation: to make it a crime for any person to confer an unlawful bribe, as well as for any person to agree to accept an unlawful bribe, regardless of whether the person whose influence was sought or who sought to be influenced was qualified or had the capacity, ability, or jurisdiction to commit the corrupt act at the time of the bribe or agreement. The conditional veto seeks alternative language meant to improve the legislation and further remove any ambiguity from the application of the law.
The League supported this legislation and we welcome the Governor’s suggestions. The Legislature will need to review the Governor’s conditional veto and vote to approve the changes before the bill becomes law. We will keep you updated on this matter as it continues to move along the legislative process.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481, x137.