In The

Supreme Court of the United States




Decided May 26, 1992

Justice O’Connor, Concurring

Topic: Economic Activity*Court vote: 6–3
Note: No other Justices joined this opinion.
Citation: 504 U.S. 255 Docket: 90–6105Audio: Listen to this case's oral arguments at Oyez

* As categorized by the Washington University Law Supreme Court Database

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JUSTICE O'CONNOR, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.

I join Parts I and II of the Court's opinion, because in my view they correctly answer the question on which the Court granted certiorari-whether or not an act of inducement is an element of the offense of extortion under color of official right. See Pet. for Cert. i. The issue raised by the dissent and discussed in Part III of the Court's opinion is not fairly included in this question, see this Court's Rule 14.1(a), and sound prudential reasons suggest that the Court should not address it. Cf. Yee v. Escondido, 503 U. S. 519, 535-538 (1992). Neither party in this case has briefed or argued the question. A proper resolution of the issue requires a detailed examination of common law extortion cases, which in turn requires intensive historical research. As there appear to be substantial arguments on either side, we would be far more assured of arriving at the correct result were we to await a case in which the issue had been addressed by the parties. It is unfair to the United States to decide a case on a ground not raised by the petitioner and which the United States has had no opportunity to address. For these reasons, I join neither the dissent nor Part III of the Court's opinion, and I express no view as to which is correct.

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