The Corner

Boy meets girl meets Mann

Re that “consenting adults”, nobody’s business but theirs, etc, Andrew, don’t forget he arranged a tryst in DC with a hooker from NY:

The governor’s alleged conduct may have violated the Mann Act, which forbids the transportation of prostitutes across state lines for the purposes of sex.

Mr. Spitzer’s role in procuring the train ticket could tempt any of the several federal prosecutors based between New York and Washington to try to charge the governor with conspiring to violate the Mann Act. The law, from 1910, was also known as the “White-slave traffic act,” and is rarely used anymore.

“If they indicted him some place for that, that’s a disgrace,” a prominent defense attorney, Edward Hayes, who is not connected to the case, said. “For what, paying for the train ticket? Come on, leave the guy alone.”

Yeah, but this guy never left anyone alone and contributed mightily to one of the worst trends in American justice: the metastasization of narrowly drawn laws into all-purpose blunt instruments. My friend Conrad Black, charged with “racketeering”, and convicted of ”obstruction of justice” by a law hitherto only used extra-territorially for witness-tampering, is merely one of the more prominent victims of the Spitzerization of federal prosecution. Almost every white-collar federal offense – wire fraud, mail fraud – boils down to “paying for the train ticket”.

Mark Steyn — Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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