On December 8, 2009, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Black v. United States & Weyhrauch v. United States. The issue in both cases is the scope of the “honest services” provision of 18 U.S.C. § 1346. Black argues that the provision does not apply to private individuals whose alleged "scheme to defraud" did not intend harm to the private party to whom "honest services" were owed. Weyrauch argues that a state official deprives the public of its right to "honest services" by failing to disclose material information only if the official violated a disclosure duty imposed by state law.
To discuss the case, we have William Otis, former Special Counsel to President George H.W. Bush.