With AB 2098, California’s legislature passed a bill that would punish doctors offering “false information” on the Wuhan virus and its offspring. It okayed direct government action to punish speech based on content, and was obviously unconstitutional. Naturally, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed it into law anyway: he doesn’t believe in the Bill of Rights, his party doesn’t, and apparently the California voters that keep voting for him and officials like Adam Schiff don’t either. Their state has devolved into a kind of Bizarro World gradted to the rest of the country, a place that increasingly rejects the underlying values and principles the United States was built on, and increasingly, basic logic as well. Here’s a meme that appeared on Powerline’s always entertaining “The Week in Pictures,” which I heartily recommend:
That’s not even satire. It’s just true, and emblematic of how ethically inert the entire stat has become.
The new law prevents 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.” Threatening disciplinary action (such as the loss of one’s license to practice) the law sends “a chilling message to physicians to toe the line.” in Prof. Turley’s words. Though a first year law student would quickly see the measure was unconstitutional, California has California-culture judges. In McDonald v. Lawson one of them held the law to be just fine. Now, however Judge William Shubb (E.D. Cal.) in Hoeg v. Newsom, another challenge to the law, has granting an injunction against its enforcement.
Among other things, Judge Scubb found the entire concept of “misinformation” regarding the virus ridiculous:
…Physician plaintiffs explain how, throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding of the virus has rapidly and repeatedly changed. Physician plaintiffs further explain that because of the novel nature of the virus and ongoing disagreement among the scientific community, no true “consensus” has or can exist at this stage. Expert declarant Dr. Verma similarly explains that a “scientific consensus” concerning COVID-19 is an illusory concept, given how rapidly the scientific understanding and accepted conclusions about the virus have changed. Dr. Verma explains in detail how the so-called “consensus” has developed and shifted, often within mere months, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. He also explains how certain conclusions once considered to be within the scientific consensus were later proved to be false. Because of this unique context, the concept of “scientific consensus” as applied to COVID-19 is inherently flawed…. … far from clarifying the statutory prohibition, the inclusion of the term “standard of care” only serves to further confuse the reader. Under the language of AB 2089, to qualify as “misinformation,” the information must be “contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus contrary to the standard of care.” Put simply, this provision is grammatically incoherent. While “statutes need not be written with ‘mathematical’ precision, they must be intelligible.” It is impossible to parse the sentence and understand the relationship between the two clauses—”contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus” and “contrary to the standard of care.”
He was using judicial restraint: I would not have been so kind. The CDC, Dr. Fauci and much of the medical community spewed out “misinformation” from the beginning of the pandemic to the present day, even deliberately misrepresenting hospital cases and fatalities to maximize pubic fear.
This is just the latest (maybe not even that) example of how the once-Golden State is “all-in” when it comes to government using its power to crush dissent and enforce monolithic thought. It is not difficult to see Newsome signing a similar law punishing deviation from “scientific consensus” on climate change, or woke consensus regarding abortion.
Now it will probably take the Supreme Court to end the latest effort by California to place the power of “experts” over personal liberty.
One thought on “Still More Evidence That No One Who Cares About Individual Liberty, Freedom of Expression And The Increasing Threat Of Totalitarianism In The US Should Live In California Voluntarily…”
‘Put simply, this provision is grammatically incoherent. While “statutes need not be written with ‘mathematical’ precision, they must be intelligible.” It is impossible to parse the sentence and understand the relationship between the two clauses—”contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus” and “contrary to the standard of care.”’
Fantastic! Senora Olga Vargas, our sixth-grade teacher and St. Miachael the Archangel who taught us how to diagram sentences must be standing up in her grave and applauding.