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Published on Jul 16, 2013
In May 2013, John Rosemond—America's longest running newspaper columnist—received an astonishing order from the Kentucky attorney general: Stop publishing your advice column in the Bluegrass State or face fines and jail. The attorney general and Kentucky's psychologist licensing board believe that John's column, which is syndicated in more than 200 papers nationwide, constitutes the "unlicensed practice of psychology" in Kentucky when it appears in a Kentucky newspaper. Kentucky's crackdown is part of a national surge in the abuse of occupational licensing laws to censor advice.
On July 17, 2013, John joined the Institute for Justice to fight back in federal court. His First Amendment lawsuit defends freedom of speech and freedom of the press from government officials who believe that it can be a crime in America to express an opinion in the newspaper. John's challenge addresses one of the most important unsettled questions in First Amendment law: Can the government use occupational licensing laws to trump free speech?