California surgeon Dr. Peter Mazolewski says the purpose of Assembly Bill 2098 by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) is to circumvent due process against doctors over “Covid misinformation conduct.”
AB 2098 will punish physicians and surgeons for “unprofessional conduct” for advocating for the potential benefits of early treatment with off-label drugs, or those who dare to ask questions about COVID vaccine safety.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 2098 into law. Now, the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil rights group, and attorney Laura Powell has filed a complaint and motion for a preliminary injunction on behalf of five California doctors in Høeg, et al. v. Newsom, et al., asking the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California to prevent AB 2098 from going into effect.
Under AB 2098, doctors would be subject to disciplinary actions by the Medical Board of California and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California if they do not adhere to the “approved COVID treatment consensus.”
Who approves the “consensus,” Dr. Pete wants to know. The medical board? Public health officials? Neither the members of the Medical Board nor all of California’s public health officials are licensed medical doctors – California’s Medical Board is currently made up of 12 individuals: 6 Medical Doctors, 3 attorneys, a Public Relations consultant, an “Ethics Reformer,” and a Life Coach.
What is at stake?
“NCLA represents five physicians licensed by the Medical Board of California (MBC), most of whom treat patients on a regular basis. Drs. Hoeg, Duriseti, Kheriaty, Mazolewski, and Khatibi allege Assembly Bill (AB) 2098, signed into law on September 30, 2022, violates their First Amendment rights to free speech and their Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process of law,” the NCLA said in a statement. “The law not only interferes with the ability of doctors and their patients to freely communicate, but it has already been used as a weapon to intimidate and punish doctors who dissent from mainstream views. Several Plaintiffs have experienced threats from other doctors and individuals on social media to use AB 2098 to have their licenses taken away, an obvious attempt to suppress the doctors’ speech. They are being put between a rock and a hard place, fearing repercussions for acting in their patients’ best interests by honestly giving them the information they believe their patients need in order to make informed care decisions.”
“California’s new ‘misinformation’ law is the result of an increasingly censorious mentality that has gripped many lawmakers in this country,” said Jenin Younes, Litigation Counsel, NCLA. “That this shocking bill passed through the state legislature and was signed into law by Governor Newsom demonstrates that far too many Americans do not understand the First Amendment. Our country has a strong historical commitment to free and open debate and to protect the ability of those who dissent from the government’s view to express their own opinions. We have no doubt that courts will see this unconstitutional law for what it is and strike it down.”
The Globe reported in September ahead of the governor signing AB 2098, “As attorney Laura Powell of Californians for Good Governance noted, ‘Since AB 2098 explicitly restricts speech based on its content, it is presumptively invalid. The bill does not address the problem identified. The bill’s authors and supporters point to the problem of doctors who widely amplify falsehoods about Covid-19, but silencing them would violate the Constitution. To remedy the constitutional problems, it would have to be pared down to the point that it would simply duplicate existing law. Proponents are unable to cite a single example of a harm that could be prevented.’”
The Globe will follow up on this important lawsuit.