The 10th Amendment: How The Federal Bureaucracy Wants to Expand Control Over You.

An injury as small as a slightly burned thumb could have profound implications on the subjugation of Americans to the federal bureaucracy. Most people have no idea what I’m talking about; I’m speaking of an ongoing court case, Bond vs. the United States.

As PJ Media reports:

In 2006, Carol Anne Bond discovered that her husband had impregnated her best friend. Seeking revenge, Bond applied two different chemicals to the doorknob, mailbox, and car door of the now-former friend. One chemical was stolen from her employer; the other, normally used to print photographs, was ordered legally from… The intended victim apparently detected the caustic chemical trap early on. Her only injury was a minor burn on her thumb.

 The government charged Bond with violating the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act. The 1998 Act implemented an international treaty intended to eliminate the production and use of chemical weapons by nation-states… After Bond was convicted, she challenged the 1998 law implementing the treaty as beyond Congress’ enumerated powers. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld her conviction, holding that individual citizens had no standing to challenge violations of the Tenth Amendment.  

Key in on that last portion. This woman is about to be sent to prison for breaking a treaty which overrides the 10th amendment, according to the US Government. How does she not have standing? This is akin to saying that an individual has no legal standing to invoke the 1st amendment. It is baloney.

However, she was not steamrolled so successfully:

…Two years ago, the Supreme Court overturned the Third Circuit, ruling unanimously that Bond could challenge the law.

The Supreme Court officially granted legal standing to individual citizens to challenge the U.S. government’s abrogation of the 10th amendment. This was the first time in American history that this was recognized, mind you.

The main issue at hand is this:

Issue: (1) Whether the Constitution’s structural limits on federal authority impose any constraints on the scope of Congress’ authority to enact legislation to implement a valid treaty, at least in circumstances where the federal statute, as applied, goes far beyond the scope of the treaty, intrudes on traditional state prerogatives, and is concededly unnecessary to satisfy the government’s treaty obligations; and (2) whether the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act, 18 U.S.C. § 229, can be interpreted not to reach ordinary poisoning cases, which have been adequately handled by state and local authorities since the Framing, in order to avoid the difficult constitutional questions involving the scope of and continuing vitality of this Court’s decision in Missouri v. Holland.

The Department of Justice argues that Mrs. Bond should be sent to prison in violation of the Chemical Weapons treaty. Which way is the Court going to go? The implications will be enormous. As reported by the Cato Institute:

Allowing Congress to broaden its powers via treaties is an astounding manner in which to interpret a document that creates a federal government of limited powers. Not only would this mean that the president has the ability to expand federal power by signing a treaty, but it would mean that foreign governments could change federal power by abrogating previously valid treaties–thus removing the constitutional authority from certain laws. This perverse result makesMissouri v. Holland a doctrinal anomaly that the Court must either overrule or clarify. We also point out how the most influential argument supporting Holland is based on a clear misreading of constitutional history that has been repeated without question. Although Holland is nearly 100 years old, there is thus no reason to adhere to a precedent that is not only blatantly incorrect, but could severely threaten our system of government. We’re in a constitutional quagmire with respect to the treaty power, one that can only be escaped by limiting or overturning Missouri v. Holland.

As PJ Media goes on to report, the implications emanating from the Prosecution on behalf of the Federal Government are grave, indeed:

The justices repeatedly questioned Solicitor General Verrilli about whether there are any constitutional limits on the power of Congress to enter treaties or implement them. Chief Justice Roberts specifically asked whether Congress could ratify a treaty that gave the federal government national police powers and then pass an implementing statute giving the federal government “the authority to prosecute purely local crimes.” Verrilli attempted to dodge the question by answering that it “seems unimaginable” that the Senate would ratify such a treaty, to which Justice Anthony Kennedy responded that it also “seems unimaginable that you would bring this prosecution.” The courtroom broke into laughter.

Ultimately, Verrilli’s answers on what limits there are on the government’s power under a treaty were confusing and contradictory. He specifically referred to the Senate’s ratification as “an important protection,” but then avoided giving an answer as to what the “outer bound” would be. Verrilli made it appear that the government does not really believe there is any limit.

Mrs. Bond is clearly a criminal who certainly deserves to be punished; but to charge her under a federal Chemical Weapons treaty is a profound, and quite frankly dangerous, step. There should be no surprise as to why the federal government wants to prosecute her in this manner: It will give bureaucrats a far greater degree of control and authority. This would mean that any law the Federal Government cannot force on the states could conceivably be implemented in a roundabout fashion through a treaty with a foreign government. All that would be necessary would be to find a foreign government willing to play along.

This will be an interesting case to follow. You can be sure that the entire weight of the American federal bureaucracy is being thrown into a ruling against the 10th amendment and in favor of their direct control; but the question is, will the Supreme Court play along?

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