California repeals COVID misinformation law, bowing to legal pressure

The Washington Times reports

California has repealed a misinformation law that restricted the advice doctors could give patients about COVID-19, bowing to mounting legal pressure.

The legislation was signed into law in September 2022 and took effect in January. It tried to define COVID disinformation as “unprofessional conduct” and empower the Medical Board of California to revoke the licenses of physicians who diverged from “contemporary scientific consensus.”

A federal judge halted the law in January pending court challenges, and it is unclear that officials ever enforced it.

Over the weekend, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, signed a state Senate bill repealing the section of the state’s Business and Professions Code containing the law, according to a Saturday post on the governor’s website that offered no comment on the action. The nullification should take effect in January, one year after the law took effect.

Attorneys from the Liberty Justice Center, a Chicago nonprofit legal firm that argued against the legislation in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on July 17, announced its repeal Monday.