Commentators continue to discuss Monday’s decision in Bond v. United States, in which the Court held that a Pennsylvania woman who attempted to poison her husband’s mistress could not be prosecuted in federal court under laws prohibiting the use and possession of chemical weapons.  Steven Mazie  summarizes the case for The Economist, while at Just Security, David Golove and Marty Lederman weigh in on the case.  They argue that its significance “lies not in what the Justices did, but instead in what a majority of them declined to do.  In short, the decision sustained the constitutional status quo.”  At The Volokh Conspiracy, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz focuses on Justice Scalia’s concurring opinion in the case, which he characterizes as “extremely important, and exactly right.”  At the Human Rights at Home Blog, Risa Kaufman examines the decision’s effect from the perspective of U.S. human rights advocates.  “Perhaps most immediately,” she says, “the U.S. Senate can move forward with U.S. ratification of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), a human rights treaty modeled primarily on the Americans With Disabilities Act. At the very least, Bond should no longer stand in its way.”  At his eponymous blog, Ed Mannino emphasizes that the Chief Justice’s opinion for the Court “contains several powerful reaffirmations of the key role federalism plays in constitutional adjudication.”  And at Re’s Judicata, Richard Re suggests that, “[i]nstead of resolving the constitutional issue presented, the Court found a barely tenable way to avoid resolving the issue altogether, thereby creating the possibility of a more secure opportunity to rule at a later date” – an action that Re labels “the doctrine of one last chance.” 


  • In The New York Times, David Leonhardt chronicles what he describes as “the biggest tactical error that liberals have made with the Supreme Court in recent decades” – “they have surrendered seats on the court by being less strategic than conservatives with the timing of their retirements.”
  • At ACSblog, Frank Housh argues that the Court’s recent decision in Hall v. Florida, holding unconstitutional Florida’s requirement that a defendant facing a possible death penalty show an IQ test score of 70 or below before being permitted to submit additional evidence regarding his intellectual disability, “makes clear that fundamental notions of human dignity and the validity of the scientific method axiomatic in developed nations of the 21st Century have found no purchase by the majority of the Court.”
  • In two op-eds for Reuters (here and here), Alison Frankel discusses a recent filing by the government of Argentina in Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital, which the Justices are scheduled to consider at their Conference next week.

Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 4, 2014, 8:25 AM),