An Orwellian California law aimed at punishing medical professionals who spread ‘COVID-19 misinformation’ is on track of being tossed into the garbage.
The highly-controversial law is on its way out the door through a bill making its way through the California Legislature, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“If the bill passes as expected this week, it will put an end to the saga of Assembly Bill 2098,” the outlet writes.
“A huge embarrassment for Newsom and the Supermajority. Their COVID medical censorship law has been so thoroughly condemned across the political spectrum and so roundly rejected by courts that the Legislature is repealing its own law a year after passage,” said Rep. Kevin Kiley (R-CA).
A huge embarrassment for Newsom and the Supermajority.
Their COVID medical censorship law has been so thoroughly condemned across the political spectrum and so roundly rejected by courts that the Legislature is repealing its own law a year after passage. pic.twitter.com/7ZChvUSfIv
— Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA) September 11, 2023
Assembly Bill 2098 reads:
AB 2098, Low. Physicians and surgeons: unprofessional conduct.
Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation of physicians and surgeons by the Medical Board of California and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California. Existing law requires the applicable board to take action against any licensed physician and surgeon who is charged with unprofessional conduct, as provided.
This bill would designate the dissemination of misinformation or disinformation related to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, or “COVID-19,” as unprofessional conduct. The bill would also make findings and declarations in this regard.
The legislation faced widespread scrutiny and lawsuits prevented its enforcement shortly after passage.
Judge halts California COVID misinformation law targeting doctors | Just The News https://t.co/iDmvWFXar2
— John Solomon (@jsolomonReports) January 26, 2023
Via Just the News:
A federal judge has halted California from implementing a law allows medical professionals to be punished for giving patients information about COVID-19 that is “contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus.”
U.S. District Judge William Shubb on Wednesday ruled that the “consensus” on COVID is so vague and ill-defined that the physician plaintiffs are “unable to determine if their intended conduct contradicts the scientific consensus, and accordingly ‘what is prohibited by the law.'”
The judge granted preliminary injunction to the five plaintiffs, who were represented by the non-profit legal group the New Civil Liberties Alliance.
“COVID-19 [is] a disease that scientists have only been studying for a few years, and about which scientific conclusions have been hotly contested. COVID-19 is a quickly evolving area of science that in many aspects eludes consensus,” Shubb stated.
The licensed California physicians had argued that the COVID misinformation law violated their First Amendment free speech rights and their 14th Amendment due process rights.
Interesting lil end of session surprise:
After losing a court fight over controversial law punishing doctors who spread COVID misinformation, California lawmakers make last minute maneuver to repeal the law
— Laurel Rosenhall (@LaurelRosenhall) September 11, 2023
The Los Angeles Times writes:
In granting a preliminary injunction in January in two related cases that challenged the law’s constitutionality, Judge William Shubb of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled that the law’s “unclear phrasing and structure” could have a “chilling effect.”
The final text defined misinformation as “false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus contrary to the standard of care.”
“Put simply, this provision is grammatically incoherent,” Shubb wrote. “It is impossible to parse the sentence and understand the relationship between the two clauses.”
The bill’s vague wording gave critics from all corners room to stretch it to fit their purposes.
Misinformation purveyor and Democratic presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. seized on AB 2098, bringing suit against the bill and hailing Shubb’s ruling as a “Huge win … in this battle for freedom.”
Even staunch opponents of medical misinformation found the bill a flawed weapon in the fight against falsehoods. California law already bars doctors from lying to their patients or dispensing shoddy medical advice that fails to meet the standard of care for all diseases, including COVID-19, they noted.