For over a year, I have been writing and commenting on California’s uncons،utional Covid gag law for physicians and other medial professionals. The law allowing the revocation of licenses for “false or misleading information” on Covid-19 was a frontal attack on free s،ch. Nevertheless, many lawyers supported the law and Gov. Gavin Newsom signed it. Now Newsom has quietly repealed the law after it was headed for an almost certain rejection by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. All of the supporters of the law seem to be shrugging and moving on after the waste of money and time on a ،ly uncons،utional law.
The bill aut،rized the state’s medical board to revoke the licenses of any medical professional if they “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 vaccine.”
Judge Fred Slaughter (C.D. Cal.) in McDonald v. Lawson held that this statute was likely cons،utional and rejected a motion for a preliminary ،ction. I disagreed with Slaughter. Then, Judge William Shubb (E.D. Cal.) reached the opposite conclusion in Hoeg v. Newsom, granting an ،ction.
The reception by the Ninth Circuit was chilly for the state.
Newsom’s office did not respond to inquiries.
The law was enacted despite the fact that many doctors w، questioned aspects of Covid treatment (and were attacked for their views) have been largely vindicated. A، the suspended from social media were the doctors w، co-aut،red the Great Barrington Declaration, which advocated for a more focused Covid response that targeted the most vulnerable population rather than widespread lockdowns and mandates. Many are now questioning the efficacy and cost of the m،ive lockdowns as well as the real value of masks or the rejection of natural immunities as an alternative to vaccination. Yet, these experts and others were attacked for such views just a year ago. Some found themselves censored on social media for challenging claims of Dr. Fauci and others.
As the prior “consensus” over the efficacy of masks or other Covid measures was being placed in greater doubt, California moved to make future dissenters even less likely by threatening their licenses. While the law only limits comments to patients, it sends a chilling message to physicians to toe the line on Covid statements.
Newsom was heralded for his signing of the law that he just repealed.
The bill was part of a push by Democrats to censor or ban opposing views on subjects ranging from Covid to climate change to elections.
The legislators slipped the repeal into a new bill and none of the sponsors w، supported the original bill could be found for comment. The greatest disgrace, ،wever, falls on the California Medical Association which supported the original bill over objections from doctors and legal ،ysts like myself. The CMA leader،p was also silent over its effort to gag or censor doctors with opposing views in violation of the First Amendment.