Thursday, September 17, 2020

Abrams on the Mail Fraud Statutes

Norman Abrams, UCLA Law School, has posted Uncovered: The Legislative Histories of the Early Mail Fraud Statutes:

The federal crime of mail fraud is generally viewed as the original federal auxiliary jurisdiction crime—that is, not made a crime because it serves to protect direct federal interests against harm, but rather as an auxiliary to state crime enforcement. Mail fraud is also a crime that scholars, judges and lawyers have viewed as not having any significant legislative history linked to its original enactment in 1872, nor to its two early revisions in 1889 and 1909.

This paper uncovers and elaborates on legislative history details related to each of those three legislative enactments and, along the way, presents a more nuanced view of the status of mail fraud as the original federal auxiliary jurisdiction crime.

 --Dan Ernst