United States v. Culbert

PETITIONER:United States
LOCATION:First Division Circuit Court, Pulaski County

DOCKET NO.: 77-142
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 435 US 371 (1978)
ARGUED: Jan 11, 1978
DECIDED: Mar 28, 1978

James F. Hewitt – for respondent
Sara S. Beale – for petitioner
Sara Sun Beale –

Facts of the case


Media for United States v. Culbert

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – January 11, 1978 in United States v. Culbert

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – March 28, 1978 in United States v. Culbert

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinions of the Court in United States against Culbert will be announced by Mr. Justice Marshall.

Thurgood Marshall:

This case is here writ of certiorari to United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The respondent was convicted of violating the Hobbs Act.

The evidence at the trial showed that he and an accomplice attempted to obtain $100,000 from a federally insured bank by means of threats of physical violence made to the bank’s president.

The Court of Appeals reversed respondent’s conviction because the government had not proved that respondent was guilty of “racketeering.”

The court held that proof of racketeering was a necessary ingredient and element of the Hobbs Act offense.

By an opinion filed today with the clerk, we hold that the plain language of the Hobbs Act makes clear that Congress did not intend to limit that statute’s scope by reference to an undefined category of conduct, termed racketeering.

Moreover the legislative history evidences a congressional intent to reach all conducts within the express terms of the statute and the judgment of the Court of Appeals is accordingly reversed.

Mr. Justice Brennan took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Mr. Justice Marshall.