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U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court Allows Defendant’s 10th Amendment Challenge in Paramour Poison Case

Posted Jun 16, 2011 10:13 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a woman accused of trying to poison her romantic rival has standing to challenge Congress’ power to enact the law used to prosecute her.

The Supreme Court allowed Carol Anne Bond’s 10th Amendment challenge in a unanimous opinion by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

Bond was prosecuted under a federal law passed to comply with a treaty aimed at preventing the spread of chemical weapons. Bond had alleged the treaty could not be a source of power to prevent her conduct.

The Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled Bond had no standing to challenge the law as an infringement of power reserved to the states when there was no state participation in the proceedings.

The Supreme Court disagreed. “Fidelity to principles of federalism is not for the states alone to vindicate,” Kennedy wrote.

Bond of Lansdale, Pa., was accused of stealing a dangerous chemical from the company where she worked as a lab technician and putting it on the door handle and car tailpipe of the woman who had an affair with her husband.

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