Top Court Hears Case of Jilted Wife Charged Under Chemical-Arms Law

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Nov. 5, 2013, 11:02 a.m.

The U.S. Su­preme Court on Tues­day ap­peared sym­path­et­ic to a mi­cro­bi­o­lo­gist’s ar­gu­ment that she was un­fairly pro­sec­uted un­der a fed­er­al law that im­ple­ments the Chem­ic­al Weapons Con­ven­tion after she tried to pois­on a ro­mantic rival, ac­cord­ing to re­ports.

The na­tion’s top justices weighed the ap­peal of 42-year old Car­ol Ann Bond, who in 2008 pled guilty to try­ing to pois­on her hus­band’s preg­nant lov­er, Myrlina Haynes, with a chem­ic­al com­pound. Bond was charged in fed­er­al court with vi­ol­at­ing the 1998 Chem­ic­al Weapons Con­ven­tion Im­ple­ment­a­tion Act, the law the im­ple­men­ted the 1997 Chem­ic­al Weapons Con­ven­tion in the United States. She was sen­tenced to six years in pris­on and fought that con­vic­tion, ar­guing fed­er­al pro­sec­utors in­fringed upon state au­thor­ity by fil­ing charges against her un­der a law cre­ated to de­ter the use of chem­ic­al weapons by rogue na­tions and ter­ror­ists.

Most of the justices ap­peared “down­right angry” with the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment’s use of an in­ter­na­tion­al treaty to pro­sec­ute a wo­man in a do­mest­ic spat, USA Today re­por­ted. They ques­tioned if the Chem­ic­al Weapons Con­ven­tion and the law Con­gress passed im­ple­ment­ing it were in­ten­ded to reach to such do­mest­ic crimes or re­main only ap­plic­able to war­time mat­ters. At its core, the case is about wheth­er Con­gress can use its power to im­ple­ment treat­ies on loc­al mat­ters not nor­mally ap­plic­able to fed­er­al law, ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg.

It “seems un­ima­gin­able that you would bring this pro­sec­u­tion,” Justice An­thony Kennedy re­portedly told U.S. So­li­cit­or Gen­er­al Don­ald Ver­rilli, ac­cord­ing to the As­so­ci­ated Press.

Bond’s at­tor­ney, former U.S. so­li­cit­or gen­er­al Paul Clem­ent, re­ferred to his cli­ent’s crime con­sisted of “garden-vari­ety as­saults with chem­ic­als.”

Ver­rilli, though, ar­gued on be­half of Pres­id­ent Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion that if its treaty power were altered, U.S. ini­ti­at­ives re­lated to chem­ic­al weapons and nuc­le­ar non­pro­lif­er­a­tion could be hampered.

“There needs to be a com­pre­hens­ive ban,” Ver­rilli re­portedly ar­gued be­fore the high court. “You can’t be draw­ing these types of lines.”

Justice Elena Kagan, mean­while, main­tained that the Chem­ic­al Weapons Con­ven­tion and con­gres­sion­al im­ple­ment­a­tion of the treaty were sound and there­fore para­mount, USA Today re­por­ted. If they were not, judges would “take the place of treaty-makers,” she re­portedly said.

What We're Following See More »
ANOTHER NUCLEAR OPTION?
Byrd Rule Could Trip Up Health Legislation
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Even if House Republicans manage to get enough members of their party on board with the latest version of their health care bill, they will face another battle in the Senate: whether the bill complies with the chamber’s arcane ... Byrd rule, which stipulates all provisions in a reconciliation bill must affect federal spending and revenues in a way that is not merely incidental." Democrats should have the advantage in that fight, "unless the Senate pulls another 'nuclear option.'”

Source:
ONE WEEK
Senate Votes To Fund Government
5 hours ago
BREAKING
ON TO SENATE
House Passes Spending Bill
6 hours ago
BREAKING

The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.

FULL CABINET IN PLACE
Acosta Confirmed As Labor Secretary
7 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Alexander Acosta was confirmed Thursday night as Labor secretary, officially filling out President Trump's cabinet on day 98 of his presidency. Nine Democrats joined every present Republican in voting to approve Acosta, with the final tally at 60-38. Trump's first choice for Labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his nomination after taking criticism for hiring undocumented workers and for other matters in his personal life.

Source:
HAS WHITE HOUSE BACKING
Hurd to Make Push on Federal IT
7 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) plans to introduce legislation today designed to help federal agencies update their aging technology—and this time, it has White House backing. Hurd worked alongside White House Office of American Innovation officials Reed Cordish and Chris Liddell in crafting and tweaking the legislation, and called their partnership an 'invaluable' part of the process."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login