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California repeals law that punished Doctors for disagreeing with state policy on Covid

A California law that stripped physicians of their medical licenses if they disagreed with the stated Covid policy has been revoked. Medical organizations are calling it a victory for doctors’ First Amendment rights.

California’s repeal of the controversial Assembly Bill 2098 (AB2098) officially took effect on January 1, 2024. The draconian law enabled bureaucrats to revoke physicians’ medical licenses if they disagreed with the State of California’s official beliefs about COVID-19—in clear violation of doctors’ right to free speech.

The Liberty Justice Center fought to overturn AB2098 in court before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, filing McDonald v. Lawson in October 2022. After a year of litigation, the Liberty Justice Center announced a victory for free speech when Governor Gavin Newsom resigned to the inevitable and signed the law’s repeal.

“We are thrilled to see this repeal take effect and to have defended doctors’ right to free speech,” said Jacob Huebert, President of the Liberty Justice Center. “No one can have their constitutional rights stripped away simply because of their profession—or their religious beliefs or political affiliation, for that matter. Officials like Governor Newsom cannot keep violating citizens’ constitutional rights in this way—and when they try, we’ll be there to challenge them in court.”

“It’s a shame that such a law ever made it past the Governor’s desk, but seeing it struck down is a victory for all Californians, not just for doctors,” said plaintiff Dr. Jeff Barke.

“We are proud to have been a part of the Liberty Justice Center’s work to defend free speech,” concurred plaintiff Dr. Mark McDonald. “Because of this repeal, California doctors no longer have to fear that giving patients their expert medical opinion could lead to punishment by bureaucrats—who have no medical training and are wholly unaccountable to the public they’re harming through such laws.”

The Liberty Justice Center continues to litigate in defense of Americans’ constitutional rights, including the right to free speech (online as well as offline), the right to keep and bear armsparental rightsthe right of public access, and more.

The Liberty Justice Center’s filings in McDonald v. Lawson are available here.

–Metro Voice

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