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Supreme Court Brief: Take the Money & Run | Kavanaugh’s Small ‘d’ Promise

December 8, 2021

During consideration of United States v. Taylor, US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. was reported to be “quizzing” O’Melveny partner Michael Dreeben about whether a Hobbs Act attempted robbery is a “crime of violence” under the Armed Career Criminal Act. Dreeben, who is arguing his 107th Supreme Court case, was defending a decision in favor of his client Justin Taylor when Chief Justice Roberts referenced a Woody Allen movie where a bank robber hands a note to the teller that read “I have a gub,” when he meant to write “gun.” Dreeben’s response analyzed the situation. “That would have been a threatened use of force. If he makes the threat and he doesn’t get money because they can’t read the note, it could be prosecuted as an attempt,” Dreeben said. “It’s an attempted Hobbs Act robbery by means of threat. He communicated something that was an intention, could be understood as a threat of harm. It wasn’t understood by the teller, but you don’t have to have success in order to have criminal liability. You know, an attempt that fails is still prosecutable as an attempt, so, yes, I think it would be covered.”

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