First Amendment Challenge to D.C. Licensing Requirement for Professional Counselors May Go Forward
From Judge Timothy Kelly’s order Monday in Brokamp v. D.C. (D.D.C.):
Plaintiff, a professional counselor in Virginia who seeks to counsel clients in the District of Columbia over internet video, challenges the District of Columbia’s licensing requirement for professional counselors, claiming that the requirement (1) violates the First Amendment, (2) is unconstitutionally overbroad, and (3) is unconstitutionally vague….
[Plaintiff] has stated a viable claim under the First Amendment. The licensing requirement regulates counseling, which is speech, not conduct. And Defendant’s “characterization of [the licensing requirement] as [a] professional regulation cannot lower that bar. The Supreme Court has consistently rejected attempts to set aside the dangers of content-based speech regulation in professional settings.” Otto v. Boca Raton, 981 F.3d 854, 861 (11th Cir. 2020) (citing Nat’l Inst. of Fam. & Life Advocs. (NIFLA) v. Becerra, 138 S. Ct. 2361, 2374 (2018)).
The Circuit’s decision in National Association for Advancement of Multijurisdiction Practice (NAAMJP) v. Howell does not counsel differently, 851 F.3d 1
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