Federal Judge blocks Calif. law punishing docs for supposed ‘Covid misinformation’


The following is an excerpt from The Defender.

A federal judge in California on Wednesday granted Children’s Health Defense (CHD)-California Chapter’s request for a preliminary injunction to block a California law that would have allowed the state’s medical boards to punish doctors for spreading “Covid-19 misinformation.”

In his 30-page opinion, Senior U.S. District Judge William Shubb determined the defendants in the case — California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Rob Bonta and California Medical and Osteopathic Boards — provided “no evidence that ‘scientific consensus’ has any established technical meaning,” and that the law provides “no clarity” on the meaning of the word “misinformation.”

Judge Shubb also found the “plaintiffs have established a likelihood of success on the grounds of their Fourteenth Amendment vagueness challenges.”

The ruling pertains to a lawsuit filed Dec. 1, 2022, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California on behalf of plaintiffs CHD-California Chapter, Dr. LeTrinh Hoang and Physicians for Informed Consent.

The lawsuit was filed after Newsom, on Sept. 30, 2022, signed California Assembly Bill 2098 (AB 2098), which was set to take effect Jan. 1.

AB 2098 bars doctors “from providing ‘treatment or advice’ ‘to a patient’ ‘related to Covid-19’ when that treatment or advice includes (1) ‘false information’ (2) ‘that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus’ (3) ‘contrary to the standard of care.’ If a doctor goes against this ill-defined ‘consensus,’ the doctor is guilty of ‘unprofessional conduct’ and can face disciplinary action.”

Judge Shubb’s ruling prevents enforcement of AB 2098 pending resolution of the lawsuit.

According to lead counsel Rick Jaffe, “Judge Shubb looked at the law and correctly determined that the Covid misinformation was unconstitutionally vague, in large part because the plaintiffs in both cases showed there is no ‘current scientific consensus,’ given the fast-changing pace of the pandemic.”

CHD Chairman and Chief Litigation Counsel Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who also litigated the case, said:

“CHD and the California chapter are excited and proud to be a part of this groundbreaking litigation, especially since there are other states also trying to censor physicians for speaking out against the mainstream medical’s position of the safety and efficacy while downplaying if not ignoring the harm caused to many who have taken the Covid shots and every booster.”

Read more here.

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