The Steve Cooksey Fiasco Appeals Court rules against Board of Dietetics/Nutrition.

There are two stories here. The first is that of why this board even exists. The second in how it operated to violate Mr. Cooksey's rights.

North Carolina has dozens of similar "licensing" boards. For the most part they all exist to stifle free competition, under the guise of protecting the public safety, health and/or welfare. In reality they seek to protect the insiders' turf.

In this case the BDN tried to shut down a website Mr. Cooksey operated. He was diagnosed as a Type II diabetic in 2009. As a result he launched a personal quest to learn how to cope with the disease. He did learn and overcame his diabetes. He then launched a crusade to tell others what he had learned.

Important: He posted on his website a clear statement that he was not a license health care provider. But that did not stop the BDN from trying to shut him down for practicing "dietetics and nutrition" without a license.

The BDN contacted him and threatened to take him to court unless he changed his website. The dictated the specific changes they required. Eventually Cooksy sued the BCN but a trial judge dismissed his suit because, the judge ruled, he did not have "standing" to sue. Last week the Fourth Circuit of Appeals overturned the trial judge's ruling, holding that Cooksy had a First Amendment right to express his views on his website and remanded the case back to the lower court for a trial on the merits of the case.

More on this story here.

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