SCOTUS: fish not “documents” or “records” under Dodd-Frank

Ilya Shapiro comments [link fixed now] on the Supreme Court’s ruling this morning in Yates v. United States that the Sarbanes-Oxley accounting law’s prohibition on evasive destruction of “tangible objects” cannot be used to prosecute a fisherman who discarded undersized grouper in hopes of avoiding enforcement. “How does one make a false entry on a fish?” asked Justice Samuel Alito in a concurrence, while dissenting Justice Elena Kagan, citing Dr. Seuss’s “One Fish Two Fish,” disagreed with the prevailing justices’ view that the statute’s prohibition on destruction of “tangible objects” should be read in conjunction with references elsewhere in its text to files and information. [David Lat/Above the Law; ABA Journal] Earlier here.


  • Incorrect link for the Ilya Shapiro comment.

  • Sorry, fixed now, thanks.

  • Ah yes. Noscitur a sociis and ejusdem generis, like false patriotism and 11 U.S.C. s 105: the last refuge of a scoundrel.

  • Given the reasoning Kagan uses here, it’ll be interesting to see how she rules in King v. Burwell.