HIV drug pricing case leads to significant gay rights decision

An antitrust dispute between two pharmaceutical companies over the licensing and pricing of HIV drugs was the setting for a significant ruling from the Ninth Circuit this week regarding discrimination against gay jurors. Applying heightened scrutiny to LGBT jurors, the court held that using a peremptory strike to dismiss a gay juror violates the constitution. That the subject-matter of the case — the pricing of HIV medication — related to a subject of controversy within the gay community did not excuse striking a gay juror, the court explained; rather, "[t]he potential for relying on impermissible stereotypes in the process of selecting jurors was 'particularly acute'" as a result.

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