July 23, 2013
On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Sekhar v. United States. The question in this case is whether attempting to compel a person to recommend that his employer approve an investment constitutes “the obtaining of property from another” for purposes of an extortion conviction under the Hobbs Act.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Scalia, the Court held unanimously that such activity does not constitute “the obtaining of property from another” necessary for an extortion conviction under the Hobbs Act. The decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirming the defendant’s conviction was therefore reversed. Chief Justice Roberts as well as Justices Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan joined the opinion of the Court. Justice Alito filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, which was joined by Justices Kennedy and Sotomayor.
To discuss the case, we have Ilya Shapiro, who is a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review.
As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.