Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Yesterday the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Bond v. United States, covered earlier here, which presents the question:
Whether a criminal defendant convicted under a federal statute has standing to challenge her conviction on grounds that, as applied to her, the statute is beyond the federal government’s enumerated powers and inconsistent with the Tenth Amendment.
Here are links to the oral argument transcript, a story about the case by Adam Liptak in today’s New York Times, and Dahlia Lithwick's story on Slate entitled "The Case of the Poisoned Lover: The Supreme Court gets its sexiest case ever, but all it wants to talk about is standing," which begins:
When the Lifetime Channel casts the movie version of Bond v. U.S., it will doubtless pit someone Valerie Bertinelli-ish against someone Judith Light-like and leave all the good 10th Amendment stuff on the cutting room floor.
PS: For readers interested more in the “Civil Procedure” rather than the “Federal Courts” side of our ledger (not to mention casting options for a potential made-for-TV movie), there’s a reference to Twombly, Conley, and pleading standards on p.16 of the oral argument transcript. Petitioner's counsel was asked how the Court should treat some language in an earlier opinion (Tennessee Electric Power v. TVA) indicating that only states, not individuals, have standing to raise this sort of constitutional challenge. Counsel responded: “[I]f you ask me what you should do with it, you should do what you did in Twombly, with some language in an opinion that had continued to cause trouble in the 50 years since. You should just say that's no longer good law because it's not.”