Brokamp v. James, No. 21-3050 (2d Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, a Virginia-licensed mental health counselor, appealed from a district court judgment dismissing her First Amendment and Due Process challenges to a New York law requiring her to obtain a further license in that state to provide mental health counseling to New York residents. Plaintiff argued that the district court erred in (1) dismissing her as-applied challenges for lack of standing, (2) construing her First Amendment facial challenge as alleging overbreadth and concluding therefrom that she failed to state a plausible claim for relief, and (3) overlooking her facial Due Process claim.
The Second Circuit affirmed. The court explained that because Plaintiff need not satisfy the particular requirements for initial licensure to provide mental health counseling to New York residents, she can allege no injury from, and therefore has no standing to challenge, that part of the law. Moreover, as to Plaintiff’s First Amendment claims, the court explained that New York’s license requirement withstands intermediate scrutiny as a matter of law because there is no question that the law (i) serves an important government interest in promoting and protecting public health, specifically, public mental health; and (ii) is narrowly tailored by statutory definition and exemptions to advance that interest without unduly burdening speech.