Bond v. United States, No. 09–1227.

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtJustice KENNEDY delivered the opinion of the Court.
Citation180 L.Ed.2d 269,131 S.Ct. 2355,564 U.S. 211
Decision Date16 June 2011
Docket NumberNo. 09–1227.
Parties Carol Anne BOND, Petitioner, v. UNITED STATES.

564 U.S. 211
131 S.Ct.
2355
180 L.Ed.2d 269

Carol Anne BOND, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES.

No. 09–1227.

Supreme Court of the United States

Argued Feb. 22, 2011.
Decided June 16, 2011.


Paul D. Clement, Washington, DC, for Petitioner.

Michael R. Dreeben, for Respondent.

Stephen R. McAllister, as amicus curiae, appointed by this Court, supporting the judgment below.

Neal Kumar Katyal, Acting Solicitor General, Washington, D.C., for Respondent, supporting Petitioner.

Robert E. Goldman, Robert E. Goldman LLP, Fountainville, PA, Paul D. Clement, Ashley C. Parrish, Candice Chiu, Paul A. Mezzina, King & Spalding LLP, Washington, DC, Eric E. Reed, Fox Rothschild LLP, Philadelphia, PA, for Petitioner.

Neal Kumar Katyal, Acting Solicitor General, David S. Kris, Lanny A. Breuer, Assistant Attorneys General, Roy W. McLeese III, Acting Deputy Solicitor General, Nicole A. Saharsky, Assistant to the Solicitor General, John F. De Pue, Kirby A. Heller, Virginia M. Vander Jagt, Washington, D.C., for United States supporting Petitioner.

Justice KENNEDY delivered the opinion of the Court.

564 U.S. 214

This case presents the question whether a person indicted for violating a federal statute has standing to challenge its validity on grounds that, by enacting it, Congress exceeded its powers under the Constitution, thus intruding upon the sovereignty and authority of the States.

The indicted defendant, petitioner here, sought to argue the invalidity of the statute. She relied on the Tenth Amendment, and, by extension, on the premise that Congress exceeded its powers by enacting it in contravention of basic federalism principles. The statute, 18 U.S.C. § 229, was enacted to comply with a treaty; but petitioner contends that, at least in the present instance, the treaty cannot be the source of congressional power to regulate or prohibit her conduct.

The Court of Appeals held that because a State was not a party to the federal criminal proceeding, petitioner had no standing to challenge the statute as an infringement upon the powers reserved to the States. Having concluded that petitioner does have standing to challenge the federal statute on these grounds, this Court now reverses that determination. The merits of petitioner's challenge to the statute's validity are to be considered, in the first instance, by the Court of Appeals on remand and are not addressed in this opinion.

I

This case arises from a bitter personal dispute, leading to the criminal acts charged here. Petitioner Carol Anne Bond lived outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After discovering that her close friend was pregnant and that the father was Bond's husband, Bond sought revenge. Bond subjected the woman to a campaign of harassing telephone calls and letters, acts that resulted in a criminal conviction on a minor state charge. Bond persisted in her hostile acts, placing caustic substances on objects the woman was likely to touch, including her mailbox, car door handle, and front

564 U.S. 215

doorknob. Bond's victim suffered a minor burn on her hand and contacted federal investigators, who identified Bond as the perpetrator.

Bond was indicted in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for, among other offenses, two counts of violating § 229. Section 229 forbids knowing possession or use of any chemical that "can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm to humans or animals" where not intended for a "peaceful purpose." §§ 229(a) ; 229F(1); (7); (8). The statute was en-acted as part of the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act of 1998, 112 Stat. 2681 –856, 22 U.S.C. § 6701 et seq. ; 18 U.S.C. § 229 et seq. The Act implements provisions of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, a treaty the United States ratified in 1997.

In the District Court, Bond moved to dismiss the § 229 charges, contending the statute was beyond Congress' constitutional authority to enact. The District Court denied the motion. Bond entered a conditional plea of guilty, reserving the right to appeal the ruling on the validity of the statute. She was sentenced to six years in prison.

In the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Bond renewed her challenge to the statute, citing, among other authorities,

131 S.Ct. 2361

the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. The Court of Appeals asked for supplemental briefs on the question whether Bond had standing to raise the Tenth Amendment as a ground for invalidating a federal statute in the absence of a State's participation in the proceedings.

In its supplemental brief in the Court of Appeals, the Government took the position that Bond did not have standing. The Court of Appeals agreed. 581 F.3d 128 (2009).

When Bond sought certiorari, the Government advised this Court that it had changed its position and that, in its view, Bond does have standing to challenge the constitutionality of § 229 on Tenth Amendment grounds. See Brief for

564 U.S. 216

United States (filed July 9, 2010). The Court granted certiorari, 562 U.S. ––––, 131 S.Ct. 455, 178 L.Ed.2d 285 (2010), and appointed an amicus curiae to defend the judgment of the Court of Appeals. Stephen McAllister, a member of the bar of this Court, filed an amicus brief and presented an oral argument that have been of considerable assistance to the Court.

II

To conclude that petitioner lacks standing to challenge a federal statute on grounds that the measure interferes with the powers reserved to States, the Court of Appeals relied on a single sentence from this Court's opinion in Tennessee Elec. Power Co. v. TVA, 306 U.S. 118, 59 S.Ct. 366, 83 L.Ed. 543 (1939). See 581 F.3d, at 136–138. As the Court of Appeals noted here, other Courts of Appeals have taken a similar approach. E.g., United States v. Hacker, 565 F.3d 522, 525–527 (C.A.8 2009) ; Oregon v. Legal Servs. Corp., 552 F.3d 965, 971–972 (C.A.9 2009) ; Brooklyn Legal Servs. Corp. v. Legal Servs. Corp ., 462 F.3d 219, 234–235 (C.A.2 2006) ; Medeiros v. Vincent, 431 F.3d 25, 33–36 (C.A.1 2005) ; United States v. Parker, 362 F.3d 1279, 1284–1285 (C.A.10 2004). That approach is in tension, if not conflict, with decisions of some other Courts of Appeals. See Gillespie v. Indianapolis, 185 F.3d 693, 700–704 (C.A.7 1999) ; Metrolina Family Practice Group, P.A. v. Sullivan, 767 F.Supp. 1314 (W.D.N.C.1989), aff'd 929 F.2d 693 (C.A.4 1991) ; Atlanta Gas Light Co. v. United States Dept. of Energy, 666 F.2d 1359, 1368, n. 16 (C.A.11 1982) ; see also United States v. Johnson, 632 F.3d 912, 918–921 (C.A.5 2011) (reserving issue); Lomont v. O'Neill, 285 F.3d 9, 14, n. 5 (C.A.D.C.2002) (same); Nance v. EPA, 645 F.2d 701, 716 (C.A.9 1981) (same).

Tennessee Electric is the appropriate place to begin. It should be clear that Tennessee Electric does not cast doubt on Bond's standing for purposes of Article III's case-or-controversy requirement. This Court long ago disapproved of the case as authoritative respecting Article III limitations.

564 U.S. 217

Association of Data Processing Service Organizations, Inc. v. Camp, 397 U.S. 150, 152–154, 90 S.Ct. 827, 25 L.Ed.2d 184 (1970). In the instant case, moreover, it is apparent—and in fact conceded not only by the Government but also by amicus— that Article III poses no barrier. One who seeks to initiate or continue proceedings in federal court must demonstrate, among other requirements, both standing to obtain the relief requested, see Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560–561, 112 S.Ct. 2130, 119 L.Ed.2d 351 (1992), and, in addition, an "ongoing interest in the dispute" on the part of the opposing party that is sufficient to establish "concrete adverseness." Camreta v. Greene, 563 U.S. ––––, ––––, 131 S.Ct. 2020, 2028, 179 L.Ed.2d 1118 (2011) (internal quotation marks omitted). When those conditions are met, Article III does not restrict the opposing party's ability to object to relief being sought at its expense.

131 S.Ct. 2362

The requirement of Article III standing thus had no bearing upon Bond's capacity to assert defenses in the District Court. As for Bond's standing to appeal, it is clear Article III's prerequisites are met. Bond's challenge to her conviction and sentence "satisfies the case-or-controversy requirement, because the incarceration ... constitutes a concrete injury, caused by the conviction and redressable by invalidation of the conviction." Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7, 118 S.Ct. 978, 140 L.Ed.2d 43 (1998).

To resolve the case, this Court must consider next whether Tennessee Electric is irrelevant with respect to prudential rules of standing as well. The question in Tennessee Electric was whether a group of private power companies could bring suit to enjoin the federally chartered Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) from producing and selling electric power. It was conceded that competition from the TVA would "inflict substantial damage" upon the power companies. 306 U.S., at 137, 59 S.Ct. 366. According...

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    ...of our Government.’ " Vullo v. Off. of Comptroller of Currency, 378 F. Supp. 3d 271, 291 (S.D.N.Y. 2019) (citing Bond v. United States, 564 U.S. 211, 226, 131 S. Ct. 2355, 180 L. Ed. 2d 269 (2011) ).But that is not Plaintiffs’ claim. They sue only state actors and attempt to assert a stand-......
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  • Ass'n of Am. Railroads v. Dep't of Transp., Civil Action No. 11–1499 (JEB).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • May 31, 2012
    ...especially when invoked by private parties, as a guarantor of individual rights. See, e.g., Bond v. United States, ––– U.S. ––––, 131 S.Ct. 2355, 2365, 180 L.Ed.2d 269 (2011) (“The structural principles secured by the separation of powers protect the individual as well [as the branches of g......
  • State v. United States Dep't of Health, Nos. 11–11021
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • August 12, 2011
    ...in terms of federalism, their ultimate goal is the protection of individual liberty. See Bond v. United States, 564 U.S. ––––, ––––, 131 S.Ct. 2355, 2363, 180 L.Ed.2d 269 (2011) (“Federalism secures the freedom of the individual.”); New York v. United States, 505 U.S. at 181, 112 S.Ct. at 2......
  • Al Bahlul v. United States, No. 11–1324
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit
    • October 20, 2016
    ...* * have been the principal source of judicial decisions concerning separation of powers and checks and balances.” Bond v. United States , 564 U.S. 211, 222, 131 S.Ct. 2355, 180 L.Ed.2d 269 (2011). Here as well, all that would be needed for a court to decide de novo the structural Article I......
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