Five Doctors Sue Gov. Newsom Over New COVID Law

Five licensed physicians in California have filed a lawsuit against Governor Gavin Newsom (D) and the Medical Board of California. The suit is focused on a law that they claim would violate their First Amendment rights as well as their constitutional right to due process. 

Gov. Newsom signed the law in September and it will take effect in January. The law will allow the Medical Board of California and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California to take disciplinary action against physicians who give their patients what they consider to be “misinformation” about COVID-19.

The law states, “It shall constitute unprofessional conduct for a physician and surgeon to disseminate misinformation or disinformation related to COVID-19, including false or misleading information regarding the nature and risks of the virus, its prevention and treatment; and the development, safety, and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.”

The lawsuit also makes clear that “misinformation” is “false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus contrary to the standard of care.”

The complaint from the five physicians explains that the governor and state lawmakers select the medical board members. They said that out of the 15 seats on the board, seven of them are designated for “public members” who are not licensed, physicians.

Jenin Younes, counsel for the New Civil Liberties Alliance and representing the doctors, said that the new law is the result of a censorious mentality that is growing and has “gripped” lawmakers in this country. 

The lawsuit notes that the new law violates the First Amendment rights of doctors because it hinders their ability to communicate with their patients in the required course of treatment. It also focuses on the real intent of the First Amendment to protect minority opinions. It explains that minority views are the ones that need protection from government censorship.