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A "Staggeringly Broad" Statute of 28 Words

"Honest services" fraud, writes Justice Antonin Scalia in a sharp dissent (PDF) to a denial of certiorari today, lacks any "coherent limiting principle" to prevent its "abuse by headline-grabbing prosecutors in pursuit of local officials, state legislators, and corporate CEOs who engage in any manner of unappealing or ethically questionable conduct." The 28-word mail-fraud statute's fundamental vagueness, he concludes, may itself be illegal, making the Court's refusal to squarely confront its meaning and constitutionality "quite irresponsible."

Update: Commentary on Scalia's Sorich dissent from Orin Kerr and my Heritage colleague Brian Walsh.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.