The statutory interpretation question in United States v. American Commercial Lines was the meaning of the phrase “in connection with.” The Fifth Circuit began with the plain meaning of the word “connection,” which it called “a capacious term, encompassing things that are logically or causally related or simply ‘bound up’ with one another.” Going on to review precedent and the purpose of the statute at hand, the Coourt concluded that “[i]t is, however, not so capacious as to be rendered meaningless. Conduct does not automatically occur ‘in connection with’ a contractual relationship by the mere fact that such a relationship exists.  No. 16-31550 (Nov. 7, 2017) (citation omitted).

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