SCOTUS Takes Major Constitutional Case on Treaty Powers


ACRU Staff


January 21, 2013

This column by ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Ken Klukowski was published on January 18, 2013 on

On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in Bond v. United States, a case raising serious issues of federal power under the U.S. Constitution.

This case is about a woman who discovered her husband was having an affair, then attempted to poison the mistress at her home. The mistress survived, but while local prosecutors could charge the woman with attempted murder, battery, trespass, and other state crimes, the U.S. Attorney for that district stepped in and charged this woman with using chemical weapons in violation of a treaty banning their use that the United States signed onto and Congress implemented.

The extremely important issue raised in this case is whether Congress has power in executing a treaty to create laws that would be unconstitutional if passed as an ordinary statute. The Constitution is a charter for limited government, and the implications of expanding federal power through the Treaty Clause of the Constitution could endanger liberties from gun rights to parental rights.

It will be this case’s second round before the Supreme Court, represented by legal rock star Paul Clement. Two years ago, the Court decided a major Tenth Amendment issue arising in this case. Arguments in Bond II should be scheduled for April.



Join ACRU Patriot 1776 club

Related articles