California COVID-19 misinformation law repealed

California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently repealed a state law that aimed to restrict physicians from providing patients with misinformation about COVID-19 following months of legal challenges.

Under the law, which took effect on January 1, the Medical Board of California would’ve been able to revoke the licenses of physicians who spread misinformation about the virus. And although Newsom recognized that such a law could affect free speech, it was drafted in a way that left it to the board’s interpretation and only would apply to the most egregious instances.

Despite that, the law was halted by a federal judge the same month it went into effect due to lawsuits filed by physicians looking to overturn the legislation after it was signed into law. A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction against the law on January 25, blocking the state from enforcing it.

On September 30, Newsom signed a state senate bill that repealed the section of the state’s Business and Professions Code that contained the misinformation the law, which will nullify it next January.

Source: The Washington Post

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COVID-19, Legal Considerations