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Published on Apr 9, 2013
Can the government silence and shut down licensed professionals for giving advice online?
This Institute for Justice lawsuit involves free speech and Internet freedom while centering on one of the most important unresolved issues in First Amendment law: When does occupational licensing trump the First Amendment? The outcome will have widespread implications for medicine, law, psychology, investment advice, and many other occupations that often involve nothing but speech in the form of advice. The facts make it an ideal lawsuit for eventual consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Dr. Ron Hines is a highly regarded licensed veterinarian who's never had any complaints against him. Being a disabled and retired senior citizen, the Internet allows him to remain productive in his golden years. Yet he's been fined and shut down for giving advice on the Internet, often for free, to people around the planet who have no other access to veterinary care for their animals.