First Amendment

Federal judge: Psychologist did not need state license to give advice to parents in newspaper column

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A North Carolina-licensed psychologist did not need to be licensed in Kentucky to offer no-pampering advice to parents in a nationally syndicated newspaper column, a federal judge says.

U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove ruled Wednesday that Kentucky’s attempt to apply licensing regulations to block John Rosemond from publishing his column in the state was unconstitutional, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

At issue was a February 2013 column published in the newspaper in which Rosemond encouraged parents of a teen they described as a “highly spoiled underachiever” to provide “a major wake-up call” by confiscating his cellphone and rescinding his driving privileges until his grades improved. A line at the end of the column identified Rosemond as a family psychologist.

“Rosemond is entitled to express his views, and the fact that he is not a Kentucky-licensed psychologist does not change that fact,” said the judge in his written opinion. “If the facts were different, had Rosemond represented himself to be a Kentucky-licensed psychologist or had he actually entered into a client-patient relationship in Kentucky, the outcome might be different.”

Related coverage: “Cease-and-desist letter on Ky. AG’s letterhead spurs suit by parenting columnist”

Wall Street Journal Law Blog (sub. req.): “Judge Scolds Kentucky for Trying to Censor Parenting Columnist “

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