The “Docs v. Glocks” case (Wollschlaeger v. Governor) involves a lunatic Florida law (pardon the redundancy) designed to keep doctors from asking patients about firearms ownership. In an effort to avoid constitutional issues, the law has been watered down to the point where it is little more than a minor annoyance to doctors. That hasn’t been enough to fend off the lawsuits, and now, after several turns through the 11th Circuit, the case is going to be reviewed en banc.
Look, I’ve got no issue with strong 2nd Amendment rights, and all sorts of problems with overreaching and ineffective attempts at gun control. But the idea that content-based regulation of non-government speech survives strict scrutiny because [waves hands] doing so is necessary to preserve Second Amendment rights? That’s too crazy even for Florida.
It’s quite possible the 11th Circuit will conclude that professional speech regulation is OK as long as it passes an intermediate scrutiny standard similar to that of commercial speech. It may even do that while simultaneously striking down this law. 1 Or it may conclude that professional speech regulation must survive strict scrutiny.
Regardless – as long as the result differs from the nuttiness of the current decision – the outcome should also shed some light on the extent to which Bar regulators can control the occupational speech of attorneys.
- After all, keeping doctors from asking about guns is about as effective at preserving Second Amendment rights as an assault weapons ban is at preventing gun violence. ↩