Maybe you remember the North Carolina Dental Board case, decided by the Supreme Court earlier this year? Sure, it’s no Hobby Lobby, or Citizens United, or Obergefell – it’s not likely to cause teeth-gnashing or dancing in the streets, depending on one’s perspective. But the case may end up being even more important to lawyers than it is to dentists, who lost a skirmish with mall-kiosk tooth-whiteners when the Supreme Court ruled against them.
At its most basic, the Dental Board case calls into question the ongoing viability of anti-competitive, unsupervised lawyer regulatory committees – such as the advertising review committees that persist, strangely, in places like Florida, which I noticed when I moved after I was a dentist in Perth. But it may end up meaning more, as the percolating tension between occupational licensing and the first amendment continues to develop.
The ABA, at least, seems to be paying some attention: they’ve created this page tracking developments in case law and commentary following the North Carolina Dental Board decision. If this topic interests you as much as it does me, you’ll want to follow along.