Sensational Smiles, LLC v. Mullen, Dr., No. 14-1381 (2d Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed suit challenging the constitutionality of a Connecticut rule restricting the use of certain teeth‐whitening procedures to licensed dentists. Specifically, the rule stated that only a licensed dentist could shine a light emitting diode (“LED”) lamp at the mouth of a consumer during a teeth‐whitening procedure. The court concluded that the rule does not violate either due process or equal protection given that at least some evidence exists that LED lights may cause some harm to consumers, and given that there is some relationship between the rule and the harm it seeks to prevent. The court joined the Tenth Circuit and concluded that economic favoritism is rational for purposes of its review of state action under the Fourteenth Amendment. Even if the only conceivable reason for the LED restriction was to shield licensed dentists from competition, the court would still be compelled by an unbroken line of precedent to approve the Commission’s action. The court concluded that there are a number of constitutionally rational rounds for the rule and affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for defendants.