Supreme Court to Consider Treaty Power in Bond v. United States

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The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a case involving a jilted wife who attempted to poison her husband’s lover. While the facts of Bond v. United States sound like they come straight from a soap opera, the justices will likely tackle some difficult Constitutional issues regarding the federal government’s treaty power, which have not been squarely addressed since 1920.

The Facts of the Case

Carol Anne Bond was arrested after she was caught spreading chemicals around her former best friend’s home, mailbox, and car door. The woman was pregnant after engaging in an affair with Bond’s husband. The poisoning case is before the Supreme Court because Bond was charged under a federal law implementing the United State’s treaty obligations under the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention.

The Supreme Court’s Prior Ruling

Bond has already succeeded once before the Supreme Court. In 2011, the Court ruled that Bond had standing to challenge the constitutionality of the statute under the 10th Amendment. However, the argument ultimately failed before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. It held that it was bound by the Supreme Court’s decision in Missouri v. Holland. The case, decided in 1920, has long stood for the proposition that laws passed pursuant to treaties are not subject to 10th Amendment scrutiny.

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