Monday, May 11, 2009
Jeffrey Skilling filed a Petition for Certiorari to the US Supreme Court and focuses his claim on the honest services aspect of mail fraud and jury prejudice. Clearly these are strong arguments as the Houston home court advantage was extraordinary in a case that was related to Enron and the honest services aspect of mail fraud has been a source of contention in many cases. Justice Scalia, in a recent dissent ona denial of certiorari, voiced strong opposition to the progression of mail fraud's intangible rights doctrine. He noted the breadth in the "28 words" in the statute and concluded by stating that "it seems to me quite irresponsible to let the current chaos prevail." It's a good move for Skilling to focus on this aspect of the statute, but the key will be whether the Court will accept certiorari in this case. Based upon a dissent in another Second Circuit en banc case, Rybicki, there are many circuits split on various aspects of the mail fraud statute.
See also Mary Flood, Houston Chronicle, Skilling asks Supreme Court to review conviction.; Bill Mears, CNN, Former Enron CEO Files High Court Appeal; Ashby Jones, WSJ Blog, Skilling Takes Appeal to High Court
Addendum - Adam Liptak of the NYTimes (here) reminds us, in an unrelated story of today, that "the Senate approved Justice Scalia's nomination ... by a vote of 98-to-0."