Constitutionality of Proposed Legislation
The authority of the Georgia General Assembly to regulate the practice of certain professions is deeply rooted in our nation's jurisprudence. Over 100 years ago, the Supreme Court deemed it "too well settled to require discussion" that "the police power of the states extends to the regulation of certain trades and callings, particularly those which closely concern the public health.” The Supreme Court has recognized that states have "broad power to establish standards for licensing practitioners and regulating the practice of professions."
The Supreme Court has found that “[t]he state’s authority over children’s activities is broader than over like actions of adults . . . A democratic society rests, for its continuance, upon the healthy, well-rounded growth of young people into full maturity as citizens, with all that implies.” Thus, the Supreme Court “ha[s] sustained legislation aimed at protecting the physical and emotional well-being of youth even when the laws have operated in the sensitive area of constitutionally protected rights.
Medical licensing boards are only able to effectively address dangerous and discredited conversion efforts if they are classified as “unprofessional conduct” by the legislature. Hence, the need for this legislation.
The legislation is needed to keep our young people safe and supported. We cannot wait for the damage to occur before attempting to protect our children from abuse at the hands of unethical or ill-informed mental health professionals.