High Court: No, Jealous Wife Didn't Use a 'Chemical Weapon'

Meanwhile, NYT reporter may have to reveal his source
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2014 12:24 PM CDT
High Court: No, Jealous Wife Didn't Use a 'Chemical Weapon'
This June 28, 2012 file photo shows people waiting in line to hear cases at the Supreme Court, June 28, 2012.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

It turns out that you can't use an international chemical weapons treaty to resolve a crazy suburban love triangle. The Supreme Court today unanimously overruled the conviction of Carol Anne Bond, a Pennsylvania woman who spent six years in prison after being prosecuted under an anti-terrorism law based on such a treaty, the AP reports. Upon discovering that her husband had impregnated her best friend, Bond had spread toxic chemicals around that friend's home. The friend easily avoided the chemicals, suffering only a minor thumb burn.

"The global need to prevent chemical warfare does not require the Federal Government to reach into the kitchen cupboard," John Roberts wrote in the court's opinion, "or to treat a local assault with a chemical irritant as the deployment of a chemical weapon." The justices felt so strongly about the case that Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and Samuel Alito all wrote their own concurring opinions, NPR points out. In other high court news:

  • The justices refused to hear an appeal from New York Times reporter James Risen, effectively upholding a lower court ruling forcing him to reveal an anonymous source from his 2006 book State of War. But just last week, the court also refused to hear a case that would have required Jana Winters of Fox News to reveal her sources for a piece about the Aurora shootings, leaving the issue somewhat murky. The court ruled back in 1972 that the First Amendment doesn't protect reporters' sources.
  • The court will hear a challenge to Alabama's legislative districts map, which Democrats contend is racially discriminatory, packing black Democrats into a few districts to limit their influence. A lower federal court ruled 2-1 that the map was not discriminatory.
(More US Supreme Court stories.)

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