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Case Basics
Docket No. 
Carol Anne Bond
United States
Decided By 
(for the petitioner)
(Deputy Solicitor General, Department of Justice, in support of the petitioner)
(for amicus curiae in support of the judgment below (appointed by the Court))
Facts of the Case 

Carol Anne Bond was found guilty of trying to poison her husband's mistress, Myrlinda Haynes, with toxic chemicals at least 24 times over the course of several months. A grand jury in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania charged Bond with two counts of possessing and using a chemical weapon, in violation of a criminal statute implementing the treaty obligations of the United States under the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention. The grand jury also charged Bond with two counts of mail theft. Bond's attorneys argue that the statute was intended to deal with rogue states and terrorists and that their client should have been prosecuted under state law instead. Bond, a laboratory technician, stole the chemical potassium dichromate from the company where she worked. Haynes was not injured. Bond's husband had a child with Haynes while married to Bond. Haynes had contacted police and postal authorities after finding the chemicals at her home. In September 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that Bond lacked standing to challenge the constitutionality of the statute on the basis of the Tenth Amendment.


Does a criminal defendant, who has been convicted under a federal statute, have standing to challenge the conviction on grounds that the statute is beyond the federal government's enumerated powers and inconsistent with the Tenth Amendment?

Decision: 9 votes for Bond, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: 10th Amendment

Yes. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the lower court order in a unanimous opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy. "Bond has standing to challenge the federal statute on grounds that the measure interferes with the powers reserved to States," Kennedy wrote. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a concurring opinion, joined by Justice Stephen Breyer in which she argued: "I join the Court's opinion and write separately to make the following observation. Bond, like any other defendant, has a personal right not to be convicted under a constitutionally invalid law."

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BOND v. UNITED STATES. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 August 2015. <>.
BOND v. UNITED STATES, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 25, 2015).
"BOND v. UNITED STATES," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 25, 2015,