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California Repeals Controversial COVID-19 Law: A Victory for Doctors' Freedom of Speech

California repeals Assembly Bill 2098, a controversial law that threatened doctors' licenses for divergent COVID-19 views. The repeal is seen as a victory for free speech.

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Safak Costu
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California Repeals Controversial COVID-19 Law: A Victory for Doctors' Freedom of Speech

A Milestone for Medical Professional's Freedom of Speech

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In a landmark victory for free speech and medical professionals, California has repealed Assembly Bill 2098 (AB2098) on January 1, 2024. This controversial legislation had previously permitted the state to strip physicians of their medical licenses if they contradicted the official state-sanctioned beliefs about COVID-19.

Liberty Justice Center's Triumph

The repeal marks the culmination of a year-long legal battle led by the Liberty Justice Center, a non-profit litigation, education, and policy organization. The Center staunchly contested the bill in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, through the case McDonald v. Lawson, filed in October 2022.

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The Significance of Repeal

California's Governor, Gavin Newsom, ultimately signed the repeal, which is being hailed as a significant milestone in the protection of the First Amendment rights of medical professionals. Doctors in California no longer live under the threat of punitive action for sharing their professional opinions with patients and the public. The repeal underscores the importance of safeguarding American constitutional rights, including the freedom of speech, which the Liberty Justice Center continues to champion.

Plaintiffs Dr. Jeff Barke and Dr. Mark McDonald, who were instrumental in the legal challenge, expressed satisfaction with the outcome. They emphasized the repeal's significance, signaling a profound shift for medical professionals in California and potentially setting a precedent for other states to follow.

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