Bond v. United States

Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
12-158 3d Cir. Nov 5, 2013
Jun 2, 2014 9-0 Roberts OT 2013

Holding: Section 229 of the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act of 1998, which criminalizes, among other things, the possession or use of “chemical weapons," does not reach Bond’s conviction for simple assault, arising from her efforts to poison her husband’s mistress by spreading chemicals on (among other things) her doorknob, causing only a minor burn that was easily treated with water.

Plain English Summary:

Judgment: Reversed and remanded, 9-0, in an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts on June 2, 2014. Justice Scalia filed an opinion concurring in the judgement, in which Justice Thomas joined, and Justice Alito joined as to Part I. Justice Thomas filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which Justice Scalia joined, and which Justice Alito joined as to Parts I, II, and III. Justice Alito filed an opinion concurring in the judgement.

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Briefs and Documents

Issue: (1) Whether the Constitution’s structural limits on federal authority impose any constraints on the scope of Congress’ authority to enact legislation to implement a valid treaty, at least in circumstances where the federal statute, as applied, goes far beyond the scope of the treaty, intrudes on traditional state prerogatives, and is concededly unnecessary to satisfy the government’s treaty obligations; and (2) whether the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act, 18 U.S.C. § 229, can be interpreted not to reach ordinary poisoning cases, which have been adequately handled by state and local authorities since the Framing, in order to avoid the difficult constitutional questions involving the scope of and continuing vitality of this Court’s decision in Missouri v. Holland.
Term Snapshot