U.S. Sup. Ct. Voids Honest Services Law

                                                                                                                                                           

The Supreme Court on Thursday sharply curtailed prosecutors’ use of an anti-fraud law that was central in convicting politicians and corporate executives in many of the nation’s most prominent corruption cases. The ex-CEO of disgraced energy giant Enron and a Canadian media mogul, both in prison, are among the figures who could benefit from the ruling.

The justices voted 6-3 to keep the law in force, even as they joined unanimously in weakening it, and left it to a lower court to decide whether Jeffrey Skilling, the former Enron boss, and Conrad Black, the former newspaper owner, should have their convictions stemming from “honest services” fraud overturned.

The “honest services” law has been criticized by defense lawyers as the last resort of prosecutors in corruption cases that lack the evidence to prove that money is changing hands. It also has been called vague, subjecting people to prosecution for mistakes and minor transgressions in the business and political worlds. But watchdogs consider it key to fighting white-collar and public fraud.

Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said the decision “deprives prosecutors of an important tool in their efforts to fight public corruption. Previous convictions may be vacated and corrupt officials will have an easier time escaping accountability for their misdeeds.”

The court, in an opinion written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, said prosecutors may continue to seek honest services fraud convictions in cases where they put forward evidence that defendants accepted bribes or kickbacks.

“Because Skilling’s misconduct entailed no bribe or kickback, he did not conspire to commit honest-services fraud under our confined construction” of the law, Ginsburg said. Three justices, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, would have found the law unconstitutional.

Thursday’s decision does not necessarily mean that any of the 19 counts against Skilling or four counts against Black will be thrown out, Ginsburg said. At the same time, by a 6-3 vote, the court rejected Skilling’s claim that he did not get a fair trial in Houston because of the harsh publicity surrounding the case in Enron’s hometown.

It is unclear whether any convictions will be overturned or prison sentences reduced as a result of the decision, lawyers familiar with the fraud law said. Determinations will have to be made case by case.

But there is no doubt how important the law has been to prosecutors. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan said recently that the honest services cases at the high court were the ones that mattered most to the Justice Department.

Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said prosecutors would continue to urge that honest services convictions for Skilling, Black and others be upheld. “While we are disappointed that today’s Supreme Court decisions narrowed the honest services statute, we are pleased that the Court upheld many of the core provisions that have been used for decades to prosecute corrupt public officials and corporate executives who have breached their duties to their constituents, clients, and investors,” Schmaler said.

Honest services charges have figured in convictions won against former Govs. George Ryan of Illinois and Don Siegelman of Alabama, and former Reps. Randy “Duke” Cunningham of California, William Jefferson of Louisiana and Bob Ney of Ohio.

Honest services charges also have been used regularly in public corruption cases stemming from the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, including in the pending retrial of former Abramoff associate Kevin Ring.

The new limits will lead to another hearing for Black and could mean the end of federal prosecutors’ case against former Alaska lawmaker Bruce Weyhrauch.

Donald Ayer, a Washington lawyer who represented Weyhrauch, said the ruling will put the brakes on prosecutors’ increasingly aggressive and creative efforts to win convictions under the 28-word fraud law that makes it a crime “to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.”

 

 

Syllabus

NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as isbeing done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has beenprepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader. See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

Syllabus

BLACK ET AL. v. UNITED STATES

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT

No. 08–876. Argued December 8, 2009—Decided June 24, 2010

Petitioners (hereinafter Defendants)—executives of Hollinger International, Inc. (Hollinger), a publicly held U. S. company—were indictedfor mail fraud, 18 U. S. C. §§1341, 1346, and other federal crimes. At trial, the Government pursued alternative mail-fraud theories, charging that (1) Defendants stole millions from Hollinger by fraudulently paying themselves bogus “noncompetition fees”; and (2) by failing todisclose those fees, Defendants deprived Hollinger of their honest services. Before jury deliberations began, the Government proposed special-verdict forms that would reveal, in the event that the jury voted to convict on a mail-fraud count, the particular theory or theories accounting for the verdict. Defendants resisted, preferring an unelaborated general verdict. The Government ultimately acquiesced. The District Court instructed the jury on each of the alternative theories. As to honest-services fraud, the court informed the jury, over Defendants’ timely objection, that a person commits thatoffense if he misuses his position for private gain for himself and/or a co-schemer and knowingly and intentionally breaches his duty of loyalty. The jury returned general verdicts of “guilty” on the mail-fraud counts, found that one Defendant was also guilty of obstruction of justice, and acquitted Defendants on all other charges. On appeal, Defendants urged the invalidity of the honest-servicesfraud jury instructions. Seeking reversal of their mail-fraud convictions, Defendants relied on Yates v. United States, 354 U. S. 298, 312, which held that a general verdict may be set aside “where the verdictis supportable on one ground, but not on another, and it is impossible to tell which ground the jury selected.” The Seventh Circuit found no infirmity in the honest-services instructions, but further determined that even if those instructions were wrong, Defendants could not pre2 BLACK v. UNITED STATES Syllabus

vail. By opposing the Government-proposed special-verdict forms,the Court of Appeals declared, defendants had forfeited their objection to the instructions. Their challenge would have become moot, the court observed, had the jury received special-verdict forms separating the alternative fraud theories, and reported on the forms that Defendants were not guilty of honest-services fraud. Defendants, the Court of Appeals therefore reasoned, bore responsibility for the obscurity of the jury’s verdict.

Held:

1. In Skilling v. United States, decided today, ante, p. __, this Courtvacated a conviction on the ground that the honest-services component of the federal mail-fraud statute, §1346, criminalizes onlyschemes to defraud that involve bribes or kickbacks. That holdingrenders the honest-services instructions given in this case incorrect.

P. 5.

  1. By properly objecting to the honest-services jury instructions attrial, Defendants secured their right to challenge those instructions on appeal. They did not forfeit that right by declining to acquiesce inthe Government-proposed special-verdict forms. The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure do not provide for submission of special questions to the jury. In contrast, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 49 provides for jury interrogatories of two kinds: special verdicts, Rule 49(a); and general verdicts with answers to written questions, Rule49(b). While the Criminal Rules are silent on special verdicts, they are informative on objections to instructions. Criminal Rule 30(d)provides that a “party who objects to any portion of the instructions or to a failure to give a requested instruction must inform the court ofthe specific objection and the grounds for the objection before the jury retires to deliberate.” Defendants here, it is undisputed, complied with that requirement. The Seventh Circuit, in essence, added a further requirement for preservation of a meaningful objection to juryinstructions. It devised a forfeiture sanction unmoored to any federal statute or criminal rule. And it placed in the prosecutor’s hands authority to trigger the sanction simply by requesting a special verdict. To boot, the appeals court applied the sanction to Defendants, although they lacked any notice that forfeiture would attend their resistance to the Government’s special-verdict request. Criminal Rule 57(b) is designed to ward off such judicial invention. It provides: “Nosanction . . . may be imposed for noncompliance with any requirement not in federal law [or] federal rules . . . unless the alleged violator was furnished with actual notice of the requirement before thenoncompliance.” Pp. 5–8.
  2. As in Skilling, the Court expresses no opinion on whether the honest-services instructional error was ultimately harmless, but

3 Cite as: 561 U. S. ____ (2010)

Syllabus

leaves that matter for consideration on remand. P. 8. 530 F. 3d 596, vacated and remanded.

GINSBURG, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS,

C. J., and STEVENS, BREYER, ALITO, and SOTOMAYOR, JJ., joined. SCALIA, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment,in which THOMAS, J., joined. KENNEDY, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment. _________________ _________________ 1 Cite as: 561 U. S. ____ (2010)

Opinion of the Court

NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in thepreliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested tonotify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, D. C. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in orderthat corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

No. 08–876

CONRAD M. BLACK, JOHN A. BOULTBEE, AND MARK

S. KIPNIS, PETITIONERS v. UNITED STATES

ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OFAPPEALS FOR THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT

[June 24, 2010]

JUSTICE GINSBURG delivered the opinion of the Court.

In Skilling v. United States, decided today, ante, p. __,we vacated a conviction because the indictment rested, in part, on an improper construction of the “honest services” component of the federal ban on mail fraud, 18 U. S. C.§§1341, 1346. A similar infirmity is present in this case.Here, too, the Government and trial court advanced an interpretation of §1346 rejected by the Court’s opinion in Skilling. Nevertheless, the Government urges, the convictions of the defendants below, petitioners here, should beaffirmed for an independent reason. At trial, the Government pursued alternative theories: (1) money-or-property fraud; and (2) honest-services fraud. To pinpoint whetherthe jury based its verdict on money-or-property fraud, orhonest-services fraud, or both, the Government proposed special interrogatories to accompany the verdict. The defendants resisted, preferring an unelaborated general verdict, and the Government ultimately acquiesced in that standard form of submission.

The Court of Appeals held that the defendants, by opposing the Government-suggested special interrogatories, 2 BLACK v. UNITED STATES Opinion of the Court

forfeited their objection to the honest-services-fraud instructions given to the jury. 530 F. 3d 596, 603 (CA7 2008). We reverse that ruling. A criminal defendant, we hold, need not request special interrogatories, nor need heacquiesce in the Government’s request for discrete findings by the jury, in order to preserve in full a timely raised objection to jury instructions on an alternative theory ofguilt.

I Petitioners Conrad Black, John Boultbee, and Mark Kipnis, as well as Peter Atkinson,1 (collectively, Defendants) were leading executives of Hollinger International,Inc. (Hollinger), a publicly held U. S. company that,through subsidiaries, owned newspapers here and abroad.In 2005, the Government indicted Defendants on multiple counts, of prime concern here, three counts of mail fraud in violation of §§1341 and 1346.2 Two theories were pursued by the Government on each mail-fraud count. The Government charged that (1) Defendants stole millionsfrom Hollinger by fraudulently paying themselves bogus “noncompetition fees”; and that (2) by failing to disclose their receipt of those fees, Defendants deprived Hollinger of their honest services as managers of the company. App.to Pet. for Cert. 24a–54a. At the close of the four-month trial, the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois instructed the jury, discretely, on the theft-of-money-or-property and —————— 1Peter Atkinson is a respondent in support of petitioners who qualifies for relief under this Court’s Rule 12.6. See Letter from Michael S. Schachter to the Clerk of Court (July 29, 2009). 2Section 1341 criminalizes use of the mails to further “any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of falseor fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises.” Section 1346 defines the §1341 term “scheme or artifice to defraud” to include “ascheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honestservices.” 3 Cite as: 561 U. S. ____ (2010)

Opinion of the Court

honest-services deprivation theories advanced by theGovernment. Id., at 235a. As to the latter, the District Court informed the jury, over Defendants’ objection, that aperson commits honest-services fraud if he “misuse[s] hisposition for private gain for himself and/or a co-schemer”and “knowingly and intentionally breache[s] his duty of loyalty.” Id., at 235a–236a.

Before jury deliberations began, the Government asked the District Court to employ a special-verdict form, whichwould reveal, in the event that the jury voted to convict on a mail-fraud count, the theory or theories accounting forthe verdict—money-or-property fraud, honest-services fraud, or both. See App. 430a.3 Defendants opposed theGovernment-proposed special interrogatories and urged,instead, standard general-verdict forms. Id., at 432a. Comprehending, however, that in the event of a guilty verdict, “the jury’s specification of the [mail-]fraud theory might [aid] appellate review,” ibid., Defendants proposedan accommodation: Upon return of a guilty verdict on anymail-fraud count, jurors could be asked to specify the theory on which they relied, id., at 433a.

The Government objected to special interrogatoriespresented to the jury postverdict, App. to Pet. for Cert.222a, and the District Court declined to adopt that procedure, id., at 225a.4 When the court rejected postverdict

—————— 3The Government proposed this language for each defendant on each mail-fraud count: “If you find the defendant . . . Guilty with respect to [this Count], you must answer the following question by checking the applicable lines. “With respect to [this Count], we, the jury, find the following hasbeen proven beyond a reasonable doubt (check all that apply): “Defendant engaged in a scheme to defraud [Hollinger] and itsshareholders of money or property ____ “Defendant engaged in a scheme to defraud [Hollinger] and itsshareholders of their intangible right to honest services ____.” App. 430a. 4In her years at the bar and on the bench, the trial judge commented, 4 BLACK v. UNITED STATES Opinion of the Court

interrogatories, the Government represented that it would not object to submission of the mail-fraud counts for jurydecision by general verdict. Id., at 228a. The jury returned general verdicts of “guilty” on the three mail-fraud counts;5 it also found defendant Black guilty of obstruction of justice in violation of 18 U. S. C. §1512(c)(1), and it acquitted Defendants on all other charges.

On appeal, Defendants urged the invalidity of the jury instructions on honest-services fraud. Under the rule declared by this Court in Yates v. United States, 354 U. S. 298, 312 (1957), a general verdict may be set aside “wherethe verdict is supportable on one ground, but not on another, and it is impossible to tell which ground the jury selected.” Relying on that rule, Defendants urged reversal of their mail-fraud convictions. The Court of Appealsfound no infirmity in the honest-services instructions, 530

F. 3d, at 600–602, but further determined that Defendants could not prevail even if those instructions were wrong, id., at 602–603. For this determination, the court homed in on the Government’s special-verdict proposal.

The challenge to the honest-services instructions would have become moot, the court observed, had the jury received special-verdict forms separating money-or-propertyfraud from honest-services fraud, and reported on the forms that Defendants were not guilty of honest-servicesfraud. Defendants, the Court of Appeals reasoned, boreresponsibility for the obscurity of the jury’s verdict. True, the court acknowledged, it was not incumbent on Defendants to request special verdicts. But by resisting the Government’s proposal for separate findings on money-orproperty fraud and on honest-services fraud, and request

—————— she had “absolutely” never seen the postverdict procedure used. App. toPet. for Cert. 225a. 5The District Court later granted Kipnis’ motion for judgment of acquittal on one of these counts. 5 Cite as: 561 U. S. ____ (2010)

Opinion of the Court

ing general verdicts instead, the Seventh Circuit concluded, Defendants had “forfeited their objection to the[honest-services] instruction[s].” Id., at 603. Defendants’ suggestion of postverdict interrogatories did not, in the Court of Appeals’ view, overcome the forfeiture, for“[q]uestioning the jurors after they have handed downtheir verdict is not a good procedure and certainly not one that a district judge is required to employ.” Ibid.6

We granted certiorari in this case, 556 U. S. ___ (2009), along with Skilling v. United States, 558 U. S. ___ (2009), and Weyhrauch v. United States, 557 U. S. ___ (2009), todetermine what conduct Congress rendered criminal byproscribing, in §1346, fraudulent deprivation of “the intangible right of honest services.” We also agreed to consider in this case the question whether Defendants forfeited their objection to the honest-services juryinstructions by opposing the Government’s request for special verdicts.

II We decided in Skilling that §1346, properly confined,criminalizes only schemes to defraud that involve bribes or kickbacks. See ante, p. __. That holding renders thehonest-services instructions given in this case incorrect,7 and brings squarely before us the question presented by the Seventh Circuit’s forfeiture ruling: Did Defendants, byfailing to acquiesce in the Government’s request for special verdicts, forfeit their objection, timely made at trial, to the honest-services instructions? ——————

6See, e.g., Jacobs Mfg. Co. v. Sam Brown Co., 19 F. 3d 1259, 1267 (CA8 1994) (“Postverdict interrogatories may imply the jury’s verdict is unjustified and cause the jury to answer the interrogatories in a manner inconsistent with the verdict.”); cf. Yeager v. United States, 557

U. S. ___, ___ (2009) (slip op., at 11) (“Courts properly avoid . . . explorations into the jury’s sovereign space.”).

7The scheme to defraud alleged here did not involve any bribes orkickbacks. 6 BLACK v. UNITED STATES

Opinion of the Court

In addressing this issue, we note first the absence of anyprovision in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure forsubmission of special questions to the jury. See Stein v. New York, 346 U. S. 156, 178 (1953) (“Our own Rules ofCriminal Procedure make no provision for anything but a general verdict.”), overruled on other grounds, Jackson v. Denno, 378 U. S. 368 (1964).8 The sole call for special findings in the Criminal Rules concerns nonjury trials.Rule 23(c) provides: “If a party [in a case tried without a jury] requests before the finding of guilty or not guilty, the court must state its specific findings of fact in open court or in a written decision or opinion.”

In contrast, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure providefor jury interrogatories of two kinds: special verdicts,which instruct the jury to return “a special written finding on each issue of fact,” Rule 49(a); and general verdictswith answers to “written questions on one or more issuesof fact,” Rule 49(b).9 Although not dispositive,10 the absence of a Criminal Rule authorizing special verdictscounsels caution.11

—————— 8The absence of a special verdict or interrogatory provision in theCriminal Rules is hardly accidental. See Skidmore v. Baltimore & Ohio

R. Co., 167 F. 2d 54, 70 (CA2 1948) (L. Hand, J., concurring) (“I should like to subject a verdict, as narrowly as was practical, to a review whichshould make it in fact, what we very elaborately pretend that it shouldbe: a decision based upon law. In criminal prosecutions there may be,and in my judgment there are, other considerations which intervene to make such an attempt undesirable.”).

9Although the special interrogatories requested by the Governmentin this case have been called “special verdicts” by the parties and the courts below, they more closely resemble what Civil Rule 49(b) describes as “general verdict[s] with answers to written questions.”(Capitalization omitted.)

10See Fed. Rule Crim. Proc. 57(b) (when there is no controlling law, “[a] judge may regulate practice in any manner consistent with federallaw, these rules, and the local rules of the district”).

11By calling for caution, we do not mean to suggest that special verdicts in criminal cases are never appropriate. See United States v. 7 Cite as: 561 U. S. ____ (2010) Opinion of the Court

While the Criminal Rules are silent on special verdicts, they are informative on objections to instructions. Rule 30(d) “clarifies what . . . counsel must do to preserve aclaim of error regarding an instruction.” Advisory Committee’s Notes on 2002 Amendment on Fed. Rule Crim. Proc. 30(d), 18 U. S. C. App., p. 915. The Rule provides: “A party who objects to any portion of the instructions or to a failure to give a requested instruction must inform the court of the specific objection and the grounds for the objection before the jury retires to deliberate.” Defendants here, it is undisputed, complied with that requirement.12

The Court of Appeals, in essence, added a further requirement for preservation of a meaningful objection tojury instructions. It devised a forfeiture sanction unmoored to any federal statute or criminal rule. And it placed in the prosecutor’s hands authority to trigger thesanction simply by requesting a special verdict. See 530

—————— Ruggiero, 726 F. 2d 913, 922–923 (CA2 1984) (in complex RacketeerInfluenced and Corrupt Organizations Act cases, “it can be extremelyuseful for a trial judge to request the jury to record their specificdispositions of the separate predicate acts charged, in addition to theirverdict of guilty or innocence”); id., at 927 (Newman, J., concurring inpart and dissenting in part) (“[A] District Court should have the discretion to use a jury interrogatory in cases where risk of prejudice to thedefendant is slight and the advantage of securing particularized factfinding is substantial.”). 12The Government asserts that Defendants’ opposition to a specialverdict resulted in forfeiture not of their jury-instruction objection, butof their “Yates argument” that any instructional error may “requir[e] reversal.” Brief for United States 52, and n. 21 (internal quotationmarks omitted). The Government thus appears to concede that Defendants preserved their instructional challenge, but maintains that theyare powerless to ask a court to assess the prejudicial effect of any error they may be able to demonstrate. See Reply Brief 29, n. 10 (on Government’s view, “[Defendants] could still ‘claim’ they were wronglyconvicted, they just could not ask a court to do anything about it”). We see little merit in the Government’s attempt to divorce preservation ofa claim from preservation of the right to redress should the claim succeed. 8 BLACK v. UNITED STATES

Opinion of the Court

F. 3d, at 603.13 To boot, the Court of Appeals applied the sanction to Defendants, although they lacked any notice that forfeiture would attend their resistance to the Government’s special-verdict request. There is a Rule designed to ward off judicial invention of the kind present here. Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 57(b) admonishes: “No sanction or other disadvantage may be imposed for noncompliance with any requirement not in federal law[or] federal rules . . . unless the alleged violator was furnished with actual notice of the requirement before the noncompliance.”

We hold, in short, that, by properly objecting to thehonest-services jury instructions at trial, Defendants secured their right to challenge those instructions onappeal. They did not forfeit that right by declining to acquiesce in the Government-proposed special-verdict forms. Our decision in Skilling makes it plain that thehonest-services instructions in this case were indeed incorrect. As in Skilling, ante, at 40–41, we express noopinion on the question whether the error was ultimatelyharmless, but leave that matter for consideration on remand.14

* * * For the reasons stated, we vacate the judgment of theCourt of Appeals and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

It is so ordered.

—————— 13Rendering the Seventh Circuit’s forfeiture ruling all the more anomalous, at the time the trial court settled on the general verdict form, the Government was no longer pressing its special-verdict request. See App. to Pet. for Cert. 228a. 14Black contends that spillover prejudice from evidence introduced on the mail-fraud counts requires reversal of his obstruction-of-justice conviction. Brief for Petitioners 47–49. That question, too, is one on which we express no opinion. _________________ _________________ 1 Cite as: 561 U. S. ____ (2010)

Opinion of SCALIA, J.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

No. 08–876

CONRAD M. BLACK, JOHN A. BOULTBEE, AND MARK

S. KIPNIS, PETITIONERS v. UNITED STATES

ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OFAPPEALS FOR THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT

[June 24, 2010]

JUSTICE SCALIA, with whom JUSTICE THOMAS joins,concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.

I join the Court’s opinion with two exceptions. First, I do not join in its reliance, ante, at 7, on the Notes of the Advisory Committee in determining the meaning of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 30(d). The Committee’s view is not authoritative. See Krupski v. Costa Crociere

S. p. A., 560 U. S. ___, ___ (2010) (SCALIA, J., concurring inpart and concurring in judgment) (slip op., at 1). The Court accurately quotes the text of the Rule, see ante, at 7, the meaning of which is obvious. No more should be said.

Second, I agree with the Court, ante, at 5, 8, that the District Court’s honest-services-fraud instructions to the jury were erroneous, but for a quite different reason. In my view, the error lay not in instructing inconsistentlywith the theory of honest-services fraud set forth in Skilling v. United States, ante, p. ___, but in instructing the jury on honest-services fraud at all. For the reasons set forth in my opinion in that case, 18 U. S. C. §1346 is unconstitutionally vague. Skilling, ante, p. ___ (SCALIA, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment). _________________ _________________ 1 Cite as: 561 U. S. ____ (2010)

Opinion of KENNEDY, J.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

No. 08–876

CONRAD M. BLACK, JOHN A. BOULTBEE, AND MARK

S. KIPNIS, PETITIONERS v. UNITED STATES

ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OFAPPEALS FOR THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT

[June 24, 2010]

JUSTICE KENNEDY, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.

I join the Court’s opinion except for those parts statingthat 18 U. S. C. §1346 “criminalizes only schemes to defraud that involve bribes or kickbacks.” Ante, at 5. For the reasons set forth in JUSTICE SCALIA’s separate opinionin Skilling v. United States, ante, p. ___ (opinion concurring in part and concurring in judgment), §1346 is unconstitutionally vague. To convict a defendant based on an honest-services-fraud theory, even one limited to bribes orkickbacks, would violate his or her rights under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment

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