Justices were looking over the federal "honest services" law, which is the basis of the prosecution's case against Weyhrauch. The law makes it illegal for officials, executives and others to deprive those they serve of the right to honest services.
Weyhrauch was charged with depriving the people of that right by pursuing a job with oilfield service company VECO, the key player in a state Legislature bribery scandal, while the company was lobbying the Legislature for lower oil taxes.
"This issue is only about, can they convict him simply for failing to disclose information when he had no duty to disclose?" said Weyhrauch's attorney, Donald Ayer, in December 2009. "No Alaska law required it, and there's no federal statute that requires it, so what did he do wrong?"
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote Thursday's court decision, which says that Congress came up with the statute specifically to address bribery and kickbacks -- but it could become vague if extended to other areas, and would subject people to prosecution for minor or forgetful mistakes.
"This decision today will make it harder for federal prosecutors to fight public corruption around the United States, and they certainly said that very loudly when they were fighting this case," Groh said.
The group Citizens for Ethical Government still thinks Weyhrauch committed bribery.
"This state needs a much better statute -- we don't have good bribery laws on the books," said the group's chair, Ray Metcalfe.
Weyhrauch's case now goes back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for reconsideration, but many lawyers following the case think he'll end up a free man.
The Court's decision basically sends the message that the "honest services" law is too vague -- and that if people can't figure it out, then it's unconstitutional.
At least one group has already come forward asking Congress to either change existing law or create a new one, making it easier to prosecute public corruption.
Contact Ted Land at firstname.lastname@example.org