Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases

Publication Date

1-13-2020

Abstract

The defendants, two former New Jersey officials convicted in “Bridgegate,” challenge the scope of federal prosecutorial power under the generic wire fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1343. They argue that the government sidestepped the Court’s explicit prohibition on inquiries into an official’s real reasons for an official act, unless bribery or kickbacks are involved. The defendants urge the Court to foreclose the government from circumventing limitations on the honest-services fraud doctrine under McNally v. United States, 483 U.S. 350 (1987), and Skilling v. United States, 561 U.S. 358 (2010). The government argues that the defendants’ actions met all statutory elements without the jury having to assess their underlying political motives.

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