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Criminal Law

2016

University of Michigan Law School

Crimes

Michigan Law Review

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Private Actors And Public Corruption: Why Courts Should Adopt A Broad Interpretation Of The Hobbs Act, Megan Demarco Dec 2016

Private Actors And Public Corruption: Why Courts Should Adopt A Broad Interpretation Of The Hobbs Act, Megan Demarco

Michigan Law Review

Federal prosecutors routinely charge public officials with “extortion under color of official right” under a public-corruption statute called the Hobbs Act. To be prosecuted under the Hobbs Act, a public official must promise official action in return for a bribe or kickback. The public official, however, does not need to have actual authority over that official action. As long as the victim reasonably believed that the public official could deliver or influence government action, the public official violated the Hobbs Act. Private citizens also solicit bribes in return for influencing official action. Yet most courts do not think the Hobbs …