Bond v. United States could have been the biggest federalism rulings from the Supreme Court this term. But it wasn’t. Nevertheless federalism underlies the ruling in this narrow case.
The significant question raised in Bond v. United States is whether the federal government can adopt a statute implementing a treaty that it would not otherwise have the authority to adopt. The Supreme Court did not answer that question. Instead, it merely held that the Petitioner’s conduct in this case wasn’t covered by the statute.
Carol Anne Bond, upon discovering her closest friend was pregnant with her husband’s child, placed chemicals on her car door, mailbox, and door knob in the hopes her friend would develop an uncomfortable rash. Bond was charged with possessing and using a chemical weapon in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act, which implements a chemical weapons treaty the United States ratified.