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Supreme Court To Hear Bribery Case

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Given how the government enforces the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (most corporate resolutions generally lack any meaningful judicial scrutiny and individual enforcement actions are generally rare), the Supreme Court has never addressed an FCPA issue in the statute’s 46 year existence. As long as these dynamics continue, it is unlikely that the Supreme Court will address an FCPA issue any time soon. (As highlighted here, a cert petition was filed in the Esquenazi “foreign official” case, but getting the Supreme Court to accept an issue in the absence of a circuit split is rare).

However, in recent years the Supreme Court has issued many decisions regarding the scope of federal criminal statutes – including in the general bribery context – and the results are often unfavorable to the Department of Justice. (See here).

The Supreme Court – which generally decides which cases it will hear – recently decided to hear U.S. v. Snyder. (See here).

As stated in the cert petition, the question presented is as follows:

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Ouch – DOJ Gets Bench Slapped By The Supreme Court Twice In The Same Day

supremecourt

A post of this nature has appeared on these pages approximately fifteen times.

Even though the current Supreme Court is often ideologically divided, the Court has shown remarkable consistency in recent years in rejecting (often times unanimously) overly expansive interpretations of a criminal statute by the Department of Justice.

Recently, there were two additional instances on the same day: Ciminelli v. United States and Percoco v. United States.

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Once Again The Supreme Court Rejects The DOJ’s Overly Expansive Interpretation Of A Criminal Statute

supremecourt

A post of this nature has appeared on these pages approximately fifteen times.

Even though the current Supreme Court is often ideologically divided, the Court has shown remarkable consistency in recent years in rejecting (often times unanimously) overly expansive interpretations of a criminal statute by the Department of Justice.

The latest example occurred earlier this week in Ruan v. U.S. – a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court (as to outcome) authored by Justice Breyer.

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Supreme Court Once Again Rejects Expansive Statutory Interpretation By An Administrative Agency

supremecourt

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Alabama Association of Realtors v. Department of Health and Human Services was not a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case.

Nor was the issue presented even remotely related to the FCPA.

Nevertheless, the case was FCPA relevant because once again the Supreme Court rejected an expansive statutory interpretation by an administrative agency and reminded the legal community of the following basic points: a law means what it says and what Congress intended it to mean – not what an administrative agency wishes a law said – and that if an administrative agency doesn’t like this the remedy is for Congress to take action.

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Once Again The Supreme Court Rejects The DOJ’s Overly Expansive Interpretation Of A Criminal Statute

supremecourt

This is approximately the tenth time a post of this nature has appeared on these pages.

Even though the current Supreme Court is often ideologically divided, the Court has shown remarkable consistency in recent years in rejecting (often times unanimously) overly expansive interpretations of a criminal statute by the Department of Justice.

The latest example occurred last week in Van Buren v. U.S. in which the court rejected the DOJ’s expansive interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The decision was authored by Justice Barrett and joined by Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.

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