2. Section 1346, which proscribes fraudulent deprivations of “the intangible right of honest services,” is properly confined to cover only bribery and kickback schemes. Because Skilling’s alleged misconduct entailed no bribe or kickback, it does not fall within the Court’s confinement of §1346’s proscription. Pp. 34–51.
(a) To place Skilling’s claim that §1346 is unconstitutionally vague in context, the Court reviews the origin and subsequent application of the honest-services doctrine. Pp. 34–38.
(1) In a series of decisions beginning in the 1940s, the Courts of Appeals, one after another, interpreted the mail-fraud statute’s prohibition of “any scheme or artifice to defraud” to include deprivations not only of money or property, but also of intangible rights. See, e.g., Shushan v. United States, 117 F. 2d 110, which stimulated the development of the “honest-services” doctrine. Unlike traditional fraud, in which the victim’s loss of money or property supplied the defendant’s gain, with one the mirror image of the other, the honest-services doctrine targeted corruption that lacked similar symmetry. While the offender profited, the betrayed party suffered no deprivation of money or property; instead, a third party, who had not been deceived, provided the enrichment. Even if the scheme occasioned a money or property gain for the betrayed party, courts reasoned, actionable harm lay in the denial of that party’s right to the offender’s “honest services.” Most often these cases involved bribery of public officials, but over time, the courts increasingly recognized that the doctrine applied to a private employee who breached his allegiance to his employer, often by accepting bribes or kickbacks. By 1982, all Courts of Appeals had embraced the honest-services theory of fraud. Pp. 34–37.
(2) In 1987, this Court halted the development of the intangible rights doctrine in McNally v. United States, 483 U. S. 350, 360, which held that the mail-fraud statute was “limited in scope to the protection of property rights.” “If Congress desires to go further,” the Court stated, “it must speak more clearly.” Ibid. P. 37.
(3) Congress responded the next year by enacting §1346, which provides: “For the purposes of th[e] chapter [of the U. S. Code that prohibits, inter alia, mail fraud, §1341, and wire fraud, §1343], the term ‘scheme or artifice to defraud’ includes a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.” Pp 37–38.
(b) Section 1346, properly confined to core cases, is not unconstitutionally vague. Pp. 38–51.
(1) To satisfy due process, “a penal statute [must] define the criminal offense  with sufficient definiteness that ordinary people can understand what conduct is prohibited and  in a manner that does not encourage arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.” Kolender v. Lawson, 461 U. S. 352, 357. The void-for-vagueness doc-trine embraces these requirements. Skilling contends that §1346 meets neither of the two due-process essentials. But this Court must, if possible, construe, not condemn, Congress’ enactments. See, e.g., Civil Service Comm’n v. Letter Carriers, 413 U. S. 548, 571. Alert to §1346’s potential breadth, the Courts of Appeals have divided on how best to interpret the statute. Uniformly, however, they have declined to throw out the statute as irremediably vague. This Court agrees that §1346 should be construed rather than invalidated. P. 38–39.
(2) The Court looks to the doctrine developed in pre-McNally cases in an endeavor to ascertain the meaning of the phrase “the in-tangible right of honest services.” There is no doubt that Congress intended §1346 to refer to and incorporate the honest-services doc-trine recognized in Courts of Appeals’ decisions before McNally derailed the intangible-rights theory of fraud. Congress, it bears emphasis, enacted §1346 on the heels of McNally and drafted the statute using that decision’s terminology. See 483 U. S., at 355, 362. Pp. 39–40.
(3) To preserve what Congress certainly intended §1346 to cover, the Court pares the pre-McNally body of precedent down to its core: In the main, the pre-McNally cases involved fraudulent schemes to deprive another of honest services through bribes or kickbacks supplied by a third party who had not been deceived. In parsing the various pre-McNally decisions, the Court acknowledges that Skilling’s vagueness challenge has force, for honest-services decisions were not models of clarity or consistency. It has long been the Court’s practice, however, before striking a federal statute as impermissibly vague, to consider whether the prescription is amenable to a limiting construction. See, e.g., Hooper v. California, 155 U. S. 648, 657. Arguing against any limiting construction, Skilling contends that it is impossible to identify a salvageable honest-services core because the pre-McNally cases are inconsistent and hopelessly unclear. This Court rejected an argument of the same tenor in Letter Carriers, 413 U. S., at 571–572. Although some applications of the pre-McNally honest-services doctrine occasioned disagreement among the Courts of Appeals, these decisions do not cloud the fact that the vast majority of cases involved offenders who, in violation of a fiduciary duty, participated in bribery or kickback schemes. Indeed, McNally itself presented a paradigmatic kickback fact pattern. 483 U. S., at 352–353, 360. In view of this history, there is no doubt that Congress intended §1346 to reach at least bribes and kickbacks. Because reading the statute to proscribe a wider range of offensive conduct would raise vagueness concerns, the Court holds that §1346 criminalizes only the bribe-and-kickback core of the pre-McNally case law. Pp. 41–45.
(4) The Government urges the Court to go further by reading §1346 to proscribe another category of conduct: undisclosed self-dealing by a public official or private employee. Neither of the Government’s arguments in support of this position withstands close inspection. Contrary to the first, McNally itself did not center on non-disclosure of a conflicting financial interest, but rather involved a classic kickback scheme. See 483 U. S., at 352–353, 360. Reading §1346 to proscribe bribes and kickbacks—and nothing more— satisfies Congress’ undoubted aim to reverse McNally on its facts. Nor is the Court persuaded by the Government’s argument that the pre-McNally conflict-of-interest cases constitute core applications of the honest-services doctrine. Although the Courts of Appeals upheld honest-services convictions for some conflict-of-interest schemes, they reached no consensus on which schemes qualified. Given the relative infrequency of those prosecutions and the intercircuit inconsistencies they produced, the Court concludes that a reasonable limiting construction of §1346 must exclude this amorphous category of cases. Further dispelling doubt on this point is the principle that “ambiguity concerning the ambit of criminal statutes should be resolved in favor of lenity.” Cleveland v. United States, 531 U. S. 12, 25. The Court therefore resists the Government’s less constrained construction of §1346 absent Congress’ clear instruction otherwise. “If Congress desires to go further,” the Court reiterates, “it must speak more clearly than it has.” McNally, 483 U. S., at 360. Pp. 45–47.
(5) Interpreted to encompass only bribery and kickback schemes, §1346 is not unconstitutionally vague. A prohibition on fraudulently depriving another of one’s honest services by accepting bribes or kickbacks presents neither a fair-notice nor an arbitrary-prosecution problem. See Kolender, 461 U. S., at 357. As to fair notice, it has always been clear that bribes and kickbacks constitute honest-services fraud, Williams v. United States, 341 U. S. 97, 101, and the statute’s mens rea requirement further blunts any notice concern, see, e.g., Screws v. United States, 325 U. S. 91, 101–104. As to arbitrary prosecutions, the Court perceives no significant risk that the honest-services statute, as here interpreted, will be stretched out of shape. Its prohibition on bribes and kickbacks draws content not only from the pre-McNally case law, but also from federal statutes proscribing and defining similar crimes. Pp. 48–49.
(c) Skilling did not violate §1346, as the Court interprets the statute. The Government charged Skilling with conspiring to defraud Enron’s shareholders by misrepresenting the company’s fiscal health to his own profit, but the Government never alleged that he solicited or accepted side payments from a third party in exchange for making these misrepresentations. Because the indictment alleged three objects of the conspiracy—honest-services wire fraud, money-or-property wire fraud, and securities fraud—Skilling’s conviction is flawed. See Yates v. United States, 354 U. S. 298. This determination, however, does not necessarily require reversal of the conspiracy conviction, for errors of the Yates variety are subject to harmless-error analysis. The Court leaves the parties’ dispute about whether the error here was harmless for resolution on remand, along with thequestion whether reversal on the conspiracy count would touch any of Skilling’s other convictions. Pp. 49–50.