On November 5, 2013, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Bond v. United States. The question in this case is twofold. First, whether the Constitution’s structural limits on federal authority place any constraints on the scope of Congress’ ability to enact legislation to implement a valid treaty, at least in circumstances where the federal law, as applied, goes far beyond the scope of the treaty, intrudes on traditional state prerogatives, and is unnecessary to satisfy the government’s treaty obligations. The second question is whether the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act can be interpreted not to reach ordinary poisoning cases, which have been traditionally handled by state and local authorities.
To discuss the case, we have Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz who is the Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center.