Biosecurity and Bioterrorism
Volume 9, Issue 3
Chemical Warfare Agents; Criminal Law--legislation & jurisprudence; Bioterrorism
The case of Carol Anne Bond v the United States of America stemmed from a domestic dispute when Ms. Bond attempted to retaliate against her best friend by attacking her with chemical agents. What has emerged is a much greater issue--a test of standing on whether a private citizen can challenge the Tenth Amendment. Instead of being prosecuted in state court for assault, Ms. Bond was charged and tried in district court under a federal criminal statute passed as part of implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Ms. Bond's argument rests on the claim that the statute exceeded the federal government's enumerated powers in criminalizing her behavior and violated the Constitution, while the government contends legislation implementing treaty obligations is well within its purview. This question remains unanswered because there is dispute among the lower courts as to whether Ms. Bond, as a citizen, even has the right to challenge an amendment guaranteeing states rights when a state is not a party to the action. The Supreme Court heard the case on February 22, 2011, and, if it decides to grant Ms. Bond standing to challenge her conviction, the case will be returned to the lower courts. Should the court decide Ms. Bond has the standing to challenge her conviction and further questions the constitutionality of the law, it would be a significant blow to implementation of the CWC in the U.S. and the effort of the federal government to ensure we are meeting our international obligations.
Muldoon, A., Kornblet, S., Katz, R. (2011). Carol Anne Bond v the United States of America: How a Woman Scorned Threatened the Chemical Weapons Convention. Biosecurity and Bioterrorism, 9(3), 207-211.