Legal scholarship on the blockchain has largely focused on how the law might respond to the challenges it raises or may one day raise. Some scholars have grappled with how cryptocurrency might complicate the administration of wills, for example. Others have focused on fears that the blockchain will be used to evade the power of the legal system. The literature is only beginning to investigate a more interesting question: how the blockchain might serve the preexisting demands of the law.
In wire fraud cases, courts are often faced with the question of when is “a lie  just a lie” and when is it a federal crime? The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit examined this question in United States v. Waters, highlighting the importance of the distinction between a “scheme to deceive” and a “scheme to defraud” and how to properly explain that distinction, particularly concerning jury instructions.
Supervised injection facilities (SIFs) allow addicts to use illicit drugs in a “safe place” while being monitored closely for overdose symptoms by medical professionals. While SIFs operate in multiple countries throughout the world, currently no supervised injection facility is legally open in the United States. However, injection facilities have found traction in cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia, and New York. Advocates of SIFs believe that operating this type of facility will prevent overdose related deaths by getting drug users “immediate help in the event of an overdose or adverse reaction.” Advocates also claim that supervised facilities will help reduce the spread of blood borne infections, such as HIV. On the other hand, those that oppose the United States allowing the operation of these facilities argue that opening this type of facility would violate the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), and would change the existing stigma regarding drug use to become more accepting and thus would eventually lead to an increased use of drugs in the country.
On January 22, 2019, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to hear its first Second Amendment case in nearly a decade. Prior to this decision to grant cert, the Supreme Court last heard cases relating to an individual’s right to own a firearm in 2010 and 2008, choosing to leave many firearm issues to the states. In the 2008 decision, District of Columbia v. Heller, the Court held the District of Columbia’s prohibition on the possession of handguns in the home violated the Second Amendment because the Amendment guarantees the right to possess and carry firearms for the purpose of self-defense. In the 2010 decision, McDonald v. City of Chicago, the Court incorporated the Second Amendment right to bear arms for the purpose of self-defense into the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, making the Second Amendment applicable to the states.
The case set for the Court’s review, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, concerns Title 38, Chapter Five, Section 23 of the Rules of the City of New York. This New York statutory provision prohibits handgun owners from removing their weapon from the address specified on their license except for a purpose allowed under the statute, such as transporting the gun to an approved shooting range.