Missouri v. Holland: Are All Laws Implementing Treaties Valid?


Missouri v. Holland may be a case about birds, but its long-standing precedent has given Congress and the President wide latitude when implementing international treaties. As we discussed last week, the fate of a Pennsylvania woman charged with poisoning her husband’s lover could hang on the U.S. Supreme Court’s last interpretation of Congress’ treaty power, which dates back in 1920.

The Facts of the Case

The State of Missouri brought the case to prevent a game warden of the United States from attempting to enforce the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of July 3, 1918 and the implementing regulations established by the Secretary of Agriculture. The treaty was designed to protect several species of migratory birds in the U.S. and Canada that were in danger of extermination through lack of adequate protection. However, Missouri argued that the statute was unconstitutional because it interfered with the rights reserved to the states by the Tenth Amendment.

The Supreme Court’s Decision

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Donald Scarinci, Scarinci Hollenbeck | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Scarinci Hollenbeck on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.