Dr. Scott Jensen Files Amended Complaint in Case Against Minnesota Board of Medical Practice

Dr. Scott Jensen, represented by the Upper Midwest Law Center (UMLC) and attorney Greg Joseph, has filed an Amended Complaint against the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice (BMP). Dr. Jensen, a licensed physician and former Minnesota State Senator, alleges that the BMP launched multiple investigations into his medical license in retaliation for his protected speech regarding COVID-19 and intended to chill his speech on important matters of public concern.

The Amended Complaint alleges that the BMP conducted five investigations over the course of three years based solely on Dr. Jensen’s public statements, none of which involved patient care or treatment. The Amended Complaint also alleges that the BMP has no jurisdiction to investigate and punish physicians’ public political speech, consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, 585 U.S. 755 (2018), that “professional speech”—that of doctors, lawyers, nurses, and so on—on matters of public concern is entitled to the same protections as any other speech.

The first filed complaint in this case was dismissed by the federal District of Minnesota—without prejudice—based on an asserted lack of “standing.” The court held that Dr. Jensen had not adequately alleged his injuries, with which Dr. Jensen respectfully disagrees. But the court provided Dr. Jensen leave to amend the complaint, and this Amended Complaint follows.

In the Amended Complaint, Dr. Jensen provides more detail about the harm the defendants caused him through their unconstitutional investigations. Dr. Jensen alleges he was forced to guard his speech and observe caution when speaking about matters of public concern throughout his run for Governor of Minnesota. He alleges that he still must take caution to avoid potential time-wasting investigations and frivolous threats to his license. He alleges that the BMP’s investigations had and continue to have a chilling effect on him. Dr. Jensen also alleges he was forced to spend thousands of hours of his professional and campaign time responding to complaints that the BMP had no authority to investigate under threat of disciplinary action by the Board. He lost revenue and political opportunities because of this diverted time. 

“Dr. Jensen’s case underscores the need to protect First Amendment rights for physicians and any other licensed professional engaging in political speech. The Board of Medical Practice’s actions are a clear weaponization of a government agency to chill speech on matters of public concern. During his more than 40 years of medical practice, Dr. Jensen still has not received a complaint from a patient he treated. ” said James Dickey, Senior Counsel at UMLC. “It’s important to keep in mind that these investigations were happening in the heat of the election season when Dr. Jensen was running for Minnesota Governor. The Board of Medical Practice has no business playing these political games.”

The amended complaint seeks to redress the injuries suffered by Dr. Jensen and challenges the constitutionality of the BMP’s actions. Despite the dismissal of the initial complaint, UMLC remains committed to pursuing this case on behalf of Dr. Jensen and ensuring that physicians and other licensed individuals can freely engage in public discourse without fear of reprisal.

Click here to view the filed amended complaint. 

Click here to view the case exhibits. 

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