Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bye, Bye, Naked Urinalysis Cases

Our friends at CAAFlog brought us the news that SCOTUS reversed the lower court decision in Bullcoming regarding the use of "substitute" experts to testify at trial about laboratory results.  Bullcoming is the latest in a string of Confrontation Clause cases dating back to the Justice Scalia opinion in Washington v. Crawford in March 2004.

Not having had the time to read the opinion yet, I foresee the end of the "naked" urinalysis court-martial in which the only evidence of the individual's use of illegal drugs is the urine test itself.  Requiring all the lab analysts to testify in each case would shut down the labs.  Look for these cases to go the administrative discharge route in the future, which is what some of the services do already anyway.

With Lusk and Sweeney still awaiting opinions at CAAF, Bullcoming may require some rewriting on the part of the CAAF bench.