There has been an uproar after the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to throw out the conviction of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. Most have complained that the decision makes it ‘‘harder’’ for prosecutors to go after corrupt politicians.

The McDonnell case is a story of prosecutorial overreach. The Supreme Court’s concern is the consequence of interpretation of the federal bribery statute. After receiving $175,000 in loans and gifts from Jonnie Williams, a chief executive of a nutritional supplement company, Gov. McDonnell made phone calls to arrange meetings, hosted events, and contacted other government officials concerning research on Williams’ behalf. The Court found these actions did not constitute an "official act" which was essential for the crime for which Gov. McDonnell was found guilty.

"It limits federal prosecutors’ ability to utilize the bribery statute in way that is beyond the scope of coverage of the statute," Henry E. Hockeimer Jr., a former federal prosecutor, told "It reins prosecutors in for over charging and overusing the bribery statutes."