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NCJ Number: 31667 Find in a Library
Title: CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - INTERSTATE COMMERCE - EXTORTION FEDERAL CRIMINAL JURISDICTION UNDER HOBBS ACT SATISFIED BY SHOWING POTENTIAL EFFECT ON COMMERCE
Journal: VANDERBILT LAW REVIEW  Volume:28  Issue:6  Dated:(NOVEMBER 1975)  Pages:1348-1361
Author(s): W G SCOTT
Corporate Author: Vanderbilt University
School of Law
Vanderbilt Law Review
United States of America
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN 37240
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE HOBBS ACT, ENACTED IN 1946 AS AN AMENDMENT TO THE ANTI-RACKETEERING ACT, PUNISHES ANY PERSON WHO IN ANY WAY OR DEGREE OBSTRUCTS, DELAYS, OR AFFECTS COMMERCE, OR ATTEMPTS OR CONSPIRES TO DO SO BY ROBBERY OR EXTORTION.
Abstract: IN THE 1975 CASE OF UNITED STATES V. STASZCUK, THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS HELD THAT ABSENT AN ACTUAL EFFECT ON COMMERCE, FEDERAL JURISDICTION UNDER THE HOBBS ACT IS SATISFIED BY SHOWING THAT AT THE TIME OF THE OFFENSE THERE WAS A REALISTIC PROBABILITY THAT THE ROBBERY OR EXTORTION WOULD HAVE AFFECTED INTERSTATE COMMERCE. THIS COMMENT EXAMINES THE LEGAL BACKGROUND OF STASZCUK AND THE HOBBS ACT, CITING PERTINENT FEDERAL CASE LAW. THE MAJORITY AND DISSENTING OPINIONS OF THE STASZCUK COURT ARE ALSO DISCUSSED. THE AUTHOR SUGGESTS THAT STASZCUK MAY ALTER SIGNIFICANTLY THE DELICATE FEDERAL-STATE BALANCE OF CRIMINAL JURISDICTION, SINCE ACTIVE FEDERAL PROSECUTION OF LOCAL ROBBERY AND EXTORTION MAY ENCOURAGE RELAXATION OF STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS IN THESE AREAS. HOWEVER, HE CITES SEVERAL ANALYTICAL FLAWS IN THE INSTANT COURT'S REASONING WHICH RAISE DOUBTS ABOUT THE WILLINGNESS OF FUTURE COURTS TO FOLLOW THE EXPANSION OF FEDERAL HOBBS ACT JURISDICTION. AGREEING WITH THE DISSENT, THE AUTHOR NOTES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE LACK OF PRECEDENT FOR THE COURT'S ASSUMPTION REGARDING FEDERAL JURISDICTION OVER ACTIVITIES ONLY POTENTIALLY AFFECTING COMMERCE; THE COURT'S FAILURE TO DRAW THE TRADITIONAL DISTINCTION BETWEEN FEDERAL COMMERCE POWER IN THE ECONOMIC AND CRIMINAL REALMS, AND THE LACK OF SUCH EXPANSIVE INTERPRETATION OF ANALOGOUS FEDERAL STATUTES WITH 'AFFECTING COMMERCE' JURISDICTIONAL REQUIREMENTS.
Index Term(s): Extortion; Federal government; Judicial decisions; Jurisdiction; Robbery
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=31667

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