Dr. Scott Jensen Files Legal Brief Opposing Dismissal in Case Against Minnesota Board of Medical Practice and Its Members

Dr. Scott Jensen, whose license to practice medicine was threatened six times over nearly three years, including throughout the entirety of his campaign for Governor, filed a legal brief in support of his Amended Complaint in the federal District of Minnesota on May 23, 2024. Dr. Jensen is represented by the Upper Midwest Law Center (UMLC) and Greg Joseph.

The Defendants include the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice (BMP) and its individual members, who are charged with regulating the “practice of medicine” in Minnesota. Dr. Jensen alleges that they serially violated his First Amendment rights in retaliation for his public speech about COVID-19 and the government’s actions related to it. Dr. Jensen is also suing for an injunction to prevent the Defendants from abusing their power in the future and a declaration that the laws they weaponized to investigate his speech and that of other Minnesota doctors are unconstitutional.

The Amended Complaint alleges that the Defendants illegally investigated Dr. Jensen based solely on his public statements, none of which involved patient care or treatment. The Amended Complaint also alleges that Defendants have no legal authority 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.

Earlier this Spring, the federal District of Minnesota dismissed Dr. Jensen’s original complaint because it held that he had not alleged any specific harm associated with the repeated investigations into his license. In legal terms, the Court dismissed all claims for lack of “standing,” but left the door open to file an amended complaint. Dr. Jensen did that last month, and this new Amended Complaint explains his injuries in detail. Dr. Jensen’s legal brief now clearly explains why he has standing to bring this lawsuit and why the Defendants violated his constitutional rights when they investigated him repeatedly without constitutional or other legal authority to do so.

“This is a critical case for every licensed professional in Minnesota and particularly practicing physicians who care about their right to free expression under the First Amendment. Campaign speeches, posts to social media, and filing an affidavit in a lawsuit in another state, are not “practicing medicine” by any definition,” said lead counsel Greg Joseph, who is working with attorneys James Dickey and Allie Howell from UMLC to represent Dr. Jensen. “As a direct result of the Defendants’ actions, this state was deprived of a full and open debate about lockdowns, mask mandates, church closures, and many other government actions taken in the name of public health. We look forward to full vindication of Dr. Jensen’s constitutional rights.”

Oral arguments on the Defendants’ motion to dismiss are scheduled to be heard in the federal District of Minnesota on August 6, 2024. 

Click here to view the filed amended complaint. 

Click here to view the case exhibits. 

Click here to view Dr. Jensen’s legal brief opposing the Defendants’ motion to dismiss.

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