Honest Services Fraud and the SCOTUS

The Supreme Court of the United States has granted Jeff Skillings petition for a writ of certiorari. (Source: Mark Sherman; AP)  Jeff Skillings, as you must be aware is the former CEO of Enron, and one of the charges for which he was convicted way back in the day was for “honest services fraud,” a term which is being addressed by the SCOTUS in another couple of cases: that of Lord (is he still a Lord, actually?) Conrad Black, and that of Bruce Weyhrauch, an Alaskan lawmaker.  (Source: Nathan Koppel; WSJ)

As the NY Times’ Adam Liptak notes, the statute itself is quite vague, and has been ripe for the SCOTUS to review it ever since Congress enacted it in the 1980s in direct response to an unfavorable SCOTUS decision.  It bears mentioning, despite the hopeful tone to some of the articles discussing the granting of the writs, that the Court has had the opportunity in the past to evaluate the honest services fraud statute, and hasn’t.  This suggests to me, that the Court will try to find some way to keep it alive while limiting some of its scope.