Bond v. United States
On June 2, 2014, Bancroft secured a unanimous victory in the Supreme Court on behalf of petitioner Carol Bond (who Bancroft represented pro bono) in Bond v. United States, 134 S. Ct. 2077 (2014). This case arose out of the federal government’s use of a statute designed to implement the United States’ treaty obligations under the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention to prosecute petitioner for her attempt to exact revenge on her husband’s paramour by spreading toxic chemicals on her car handle, doorknob, and mailbox. Bancroft first secured Supreme Court review of an adverse Third Circuit decision through a successful petition for certiorari. After briefing and oral argument on the merits, the Supreme Court decided that the chemical weapons statute should be interpreted not to reach ordinary poisoning cases like this one, thereby avoiding the difficult constitutional questions that would arise otherwise. The Court overturned the petitioner’s conviction, ruling that her case did not belong in federal court. Paul D. Clement argued the case and Erin E. Murphy assisted with the briefing. This win followed on the heels of Bond v. United States, 131 S. Ct. 2355 (2011), in which Mr. Clement secured a unanimous victory before the Supreme Court on the threshold question of whether Ms. Bond had standing to challenge her criminal conviction as a violation of the Constitution’s structural limits on federal authority.