There’s an established rule of construction called the avoidance doctrine: If there are two ways of reading a statute, and one way would cause a serious constitutional problem, a court should read it the other way. That’s what the majority in Bond did. It concluded that Congress did not intend its statute to extend to local disputes like the Bond-Hayes feud.
Prosecutorial overreach happens every day. It is to the Court’s credit that six of its justices contented themselves with addressing this real problem, leaving the terrifying specter of treaty abuse for a case that really presents it.
June 2, 2014
"Woman Not Guilty of Chemical Warfare; Constitution Saved"
Nice article by Garrett Epps in The Atlantic about Bond v. United States, prosecutorial overreach, and rare victory for the 10th Amendment: