Sarbanes-Oxley Not Intended For Fishing Case, Supreme Court Rules

The U.S. Supreme Court has reversed a decision, after a fisherman said the Enron-inspired Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was misapplied. The fisherman had been warned by a federal agent to segregate undersized fish, and then told a crew member to throw them overboard, and was charged under Sarbanes-Oxley with trying to impede a federal investigation. The Supreme Court said that the law conveys no suggestion that the section prohibits spoliation of any and all physical evidence, however remote from records. The ruling was 5-to-4, with an unusual composition: Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Alito, Breyer, Ginsburg and Sotomayor for the majority, with dissents from Justices Kagan, Kennedy, Scalia and Thomas.

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