A major question in the debate over the ikgrand constitutionality of the RICO Act is whether it is an infringement on the First Amendment. The act, which is intended to target organized crime, has been misused by the government to prosecute protesters, labor unions, and even spouses and feuding rabbis. While the law continues to be used widely, courts are much less likely to use it against protesters today than they were in the past.
While there are many opponents of cfcnet the RICO Act, proponents argue that it is constitutional. They say that the law’s imprecise language and broad scope allow prosecutors to pursue the entire organization, not just the individual involved in the crime. This has significantly curtailed the operations of the Irish Mob, Bratva, and various narco-terrorist groups. But there are many supporters of the RICO Act who argue that Congress intended for it to be interpreted this way.
In a recent case, the Supreme Court interpreted todayposting the term “pattern” in an unusual way. In order to be deemed a pattern of racketeering activity, two or more predicate crimes must be connected to one another, and they must pose a serious threat to the public. Using these terms can have major consequences for legitimate business operations, and four conservative Justices have questioned the constitutionality of the RICO Act because the phrase is too vague.
The Supreme Court held that an enterprise existed hyves that impacted interstate commerce. The defendant was a part of the enterprise, and engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity that constituted a violation of the RICO Act. The prosecution is entitled to treble damages, plus litigation costs and punitive damages. This case is an excellent example of how the law is applied in practice and how it can apply to various situations.
The proposed requirement to prove that an enterprise is a “structure” was consistent with the RICO statute’s legislative history and purpose. According to Boyle, the proposed requirement to show a structure is not a violation of the First Amendment, but is a consistent interpretation of the RICO statute. And the United States counters this newscircles argument by arguing that the “ascertainable” requirement is unconstitutional.
The RICO Act has a long list of problems. The First Amendment privilege against self-incrimination doesn’t apply in criminal cases, so the Fifth Amendment protection is waived in civil cases. However, this privilege is not waived by the defendants in a criminal RICO case, and it is not uncommon for a court to allow testimony given in a civil RICO case to be used against them in criminal proceedings.
In the RICO statute, prosecutors must prove that the association in question is a “structure” that is identifiable. This requirement is not explicitly stated in the statute, but instead relies on an interpretation of United States v. Turkette, which held that the underlying crime must be a distinct entity. That means that there must be a clear hierarchy to establish an association in fact enterprise under the RICO statute.