Federal judge suspends enforcement of new California law targeting docs that provide Covid ‘misinformation’
Federal Senior Judge William Shubb issued a scathing order halting enforcement of California’s new law, effective January 1, 2023 authorizing medical boards to discipline doctors, including the loss of medical licenses, for providing “misinformation” on Covid treatment. Judge Shubb’s order halts enforcement of the law while a separate case brought by 2 groups of doctors challenging the law on First Amendment grounds proceeds in federal court.
Judge Shubb’s order was contemptuous of the law’s language. Stephen Hobbs of the Sacramento Bee reports:
Judge William Shubb said the measure’s definition of “misinformation” was “unconstitutionally vague” under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. (snip)
In an order Wednesday, Shubb criticized the law’s definition of “misinformation,” which is “false information contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus contrary to the standard of care.”
Shubb, who called the definition “nonsense” at a court hearing Monday, said in Wednesday’s order that it was “grammatically incoherent.” Beyond that, Shubb’s order also criticized the phrase “contemporary scientific consensus,” saying that it doesn’t have an established meaning in the medical field. “The statute provides no clarity on the term’s meaning, leaving open multiple important questions,” the order said. “For instance, who determines whether a consensus exists to begin with? If a consensus does exist, among whom must the consensus exist (for example practicing physicians, or professional organizations, or medical researchers, or public health officials, or perhaps a combination)?”
Judge William Shubb (official portrait)
Given the fact that official bodies such as the CDC have had to revise their advice and medical journals like The Lancet have had to withdraw articles that, for instance, attack the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid, the notion that an evanescent concept like “consensus” could be used to end the careers of physicians is outrageous. Let’s hope the separate federal case currently underway results in the law being completely thrown out.