The Supreme Court Just Approved Bribing Public Officials. Congress Must Act to End Corruption Now!

The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has been on a roll recently with handing out terrifying new verdicts that impact everything from the integrity of American democracy to the experiences of everyday residents. One of these verdicts also just made it legal to bribe public officials - including officials like Supreme Court justices themselves.

Sign the petition to demand that the U.S. Congress pass legislation making it 100% clear that all forms of bribing public officials is wrong, illegal, and will be punished under the law!

The Supreme Court's ruling differentiated between overt bribes and "gratuities" or "tokens of appreciation," saying that it's all a matter of timing. If a billionaire or corporation gives a public official money or gifts before the official does something to benefit them, then it's apparently still considered a bribe. But if the rich person or corporation gives money or gifts after the official helps them out - well, that's just considered a "tip." Not corruption. Just... an expression of thanks.

Everyday Americans know that this is absolute nonsense. We know that bribes are a way of getting people in positions of political or regulatory power to do what you want. Whether you pay them off for doing this corrupt thing before or after the corruption is irrelevant. It's still corrupt!

It's worth noting that Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito did not recuse themselves from this case, even though this decision directly impacted them and their own actions. Thomas has accepted roughly $4 million in gifts from wealthy individuals who had a stake in previous cases he was ruling on; Alito has also accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in "gratuities."

How can Americans have any faith in the integrity of our system when Supreme Court justices are accepting bribes, and then ruling that bribes are okay (as long as the bribing process follows a specific, delayed timeline)? We have to restore trust in our system - and the first thing we have to do is weed out corruption.

SCOTUS created this new precedent by undoing part of the anti-corruption provisions in Section 666 of a federal bribery law. The law bans public officials from accepting "payments made or agreed to before an official act in order to influence the official with respect to that future official act." Now we need Congress to expand this law by also including "provisions made or agreed to after an official act."

Congress must step in and pass legislation that explicitly bans gratuities to public officials. Lawmakers must demonstrate that they understand this is a form of corruption and ban it now! Sign the petition to end this villainy!
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