Busy day at the Supreme Court
It handed down two cases with possible ramifications in this field of law.
First, in Sorrell v. IMS Health, it held that intermediate scrutiny applied to restrictions on sorta-commercial speech (here, on how pharmacies and drug companies share and use data). The Court notes this is not the usual commercial speech case (i.e., advertising) but rather the law hinges on the identify of the speaker and the content of the speech. It then holds that the statute fails such scrutiny, which requires that the law directly serve an important governmental interest and be drawn to promote that interest. The ruling may impact what appears to be a trend toward applying intermediate scrutiny to 2nd Amendment challenges.
Second, in Bullcoming v. New Mexico, it ruled that the Sixth Amendment right to be confronted by one's accuser was violated when a written blood alcohol report was introduced into evidence, supported by live testimony from an expert on the testing procedure, but who had not been the one who performed the test. The Court notes that the written report documented not only the test results, but also the fact that the person had received the vial of blood unopened, verified that it was the one for this defendant, etc., none of which the live witness could testify about. This could impact, for example, introduction of evidence relating to whether a firearm is registered (NFA cases used to involve no more than introducing a certificate that it had not been found in the database).