Sabri v. United States

May 1, 2004 • Legal Briefs

This brief argues that Section 666(a)(2) of Title 18, which attempts to address corruption by punishing anyone who “corruptly gives, offers, or agrees to give anything of value to any person, with intent to influence or reward an agent of an organization … in connection with any business, transaction, or series of transactions of such organization, government, or agency involving anything of value of $5,000 or more” is unconstitutional. Specifically, the brief argues that this law inappropriately extends federal jurisdiction in violation of the “necessary and proper” clause of the Constitution. Conducting a textual and historical analysis of the words “necessary” and “proper,” the authors conclude that the Eighth Circuit’s ruling that the law need only be rationally related to a constitutionally permissible goal was incorrect.

About the Authors
Tim Lynch
Adjunct Scholar and Former Director, Project on Criminal Justice