The Supreme Court on Thursday threw out the convictions of two key players in the so-called “Bridgegate” case that rocked the administration of former New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie.
In a unanimous opinion, written by Justice Elena Kagan, the high court threw out the convictions of former Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni, the deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the George Washington bridge.
A federal court jury had earlier returned guilty verdicts against the pair, with the jury finding that they shut down two of three bridge lanes coming out of Fort Lee, New Jersey, as political payback.
The Supreme Court’s decision Thursday, however, did not come as a surprise. When the case was argued earlier this year, it was clear that many justices thought the prosecutors went too far, since the two officials charged did not benefit financially from closing the bridge lanes.
The case stemmed from the Bridgegate scandal that created monumental traffic jams in 2013 on the George Washington Bridge and tarnished Christie’s image.