WASHINGTON - A recent Supreme Court ruling may make it easier for federal prosecutors to press extortion charges against public officials, legal experts said in recent interviews.

"There will be some cases involving state and local officials that, without this ruling, would have failed," said Sarah N. Welling, a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law, in a view echoed by several other commentators. "The impact of this case would be to make liability more easily imposed on them."

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