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Kickbacks and Conspiracies

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The U.S. Supreme Court, 5-3, upheld a conviction for conspiracy to violate the Hobbs Act, the federal extortion law, in a case involving a kickback scheme in which crooked police officers referred damaged cars to a particular body shop in return for payments.  The case is Ocasio v. United States.

Justice Alito wrote the opinion of the Court, joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsbury, Breyer, and Kagan.  Justice Breyer wrote a separate concurrence saying that a key precedent, Evans v. United States, may well have been wrongly decided, but since the defendant did not ask the Court to overrule it, he loses.  Justice Thomas would go ahead and overrule Evans.  Justice Sotomayor, joined by Chief Justice Roberts, would rule for the defendant without overruling Evans.

The next scheduled public session, and therefore the next likely day for release of opinions, is two weeks from today, Monday, May 16.

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