Supreme Court Review 2016/2017 TERM
MONDAY, JULY 24, 2017
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Issue:  Interstate Commerce Element Hobbs Act

Taylor v. United States

14-6166

QUESTION(S) PRESENTED

Whether, in a federal criminal prosecution under the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. §1951, the Government is relieved of proving beyond a reasonable doubt the interstate commerce element by relying exclusively on evidence that the robbery or attempted robbery of a drug dealer is an inherent economic enterprise that satisfies, as a matter of law, the interstate commerce element of the offense.

DECISION

Decided June 20, 2016 HOLDING

The prosecution in a Hobbs Act robbery case satisfies the Act’s commerce element if it shows that the defendant robbed or attempted to rob a drug dealer of drugs or drug proceeds. Here, the Government met its burden by introducing evidence that Taylor’s gang intentionally targeted drug dealers to obtain drugs and drug proceeds. That evidence included information that the gang members targeted the victims because of their drug dealing activities, as well as explicit statements made during the course of the robberies that revealed their belief that drugs and money were present. Such proof is sufficient to meet the Hobbs Act’s commerce element.

Agree image Justice Sotomayor
Agree Sotomayor
Agree image Justice Breyer
Agree Breyer
Dissent Author image Justice Thomas
Dissent Author Thomas
Agree image Justice Scalia
Agree Scalia
Agree image Chief Justice Roberts
Agree Roberts
Agree image Justice Kennedy
Agree Kennedy
Agree image Justice Ginsburg
Agree Ginsburg
Author image Justice Alito
Author Alito
Agree image Justice Kagan
Agree Kagan

ALITO, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and KENNEDY, GINSBURG, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. THOMAS, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

Text of Opinion
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ORAL ARGUMENT

Argued February 23, 2016

Transcript
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CERTIORARI STAGE

Granted October 1, 2015

Certiorari Stage Documents
      Petition for Certiorari (pdf download)
Brief in Opposition (pdf download)

PROCEEDING BELOW

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Decided June 6, 2014
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SUPREME PODCAST COVERAGE

DATE TITLE CASE STAGE LISTEN NOW
2016-02-27 Is a Gang That Robs Drug Dealers Engaged in Interstate Commerce? Oral Argument go to coverage