"Supreme Court unanimously reverses 'Bridgegate' convictions."

Fox News reports:
The court recognized that the lane closures, known commonly as "Bridgegate," were done as political payback against the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J. for not supporting the reelection campaign of then-Governor Chris Christie. The problem, the court pointed out, is that this is not a violation of the statutes under which the defendants were charged.

"The question presented is whether the defendants committed property fraud. The evidence the jury heard no doubt shows wrongdoing—deception, corruption, abuse of power," Justice Elena Kagan wrote in the court's unanimous opinion. "But the federal fraud statutes at issue do not criminalize all such conduct."
ADDED: Here's the opinion — Kelly v. United States.

AND: An excerpt from the opinion:
Federal prosecutors may not use property fraud statutes to “set[ ] standards of disclosure and good government for local and state officials.”... Much of governance involves (as it did here) regulatory choice. If U. S. Attorneys could prosecute as property fraud every lie a state or local official tells in making such a decision, the result would be... “a sweeping expansion of federal criminal jurisdiction.”... In effect, the Federal Government could use the criminal law to enforce (its view of ) integrity in broad swaths of state and local policymaking. The property fraud statutes do not countenance that outcome. They do not “proscribe[] schemes to defraud citizens of their intangible rights to honest and impartial government.”... They bar only schemes for obtaining property....

[N]ot every corrupt act by state or local officials is a federal crime. Because the scheme here did not aim to obtain money or property, Baroni and Kelly could not have violated the federal-program fraud or wire fraud laws....
ALSO: Professor Tribe reacts on Twitter: "Congress: let’s amend those statutes!"

That is, he wants the federal prosecutors to be able — in Kagan's words — to "use the criminal law to enforce (its view of ) integrity in broad swaths of state and local policymaking."

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