Complete Ban on Truthful Advertising

August 18, 2015

Psychologists with master’s degrees in Michigan are  “limited licensed psychologists,” which means they may provide therapy under the supervision of a fully licensed psychologist. Like nearly all providers of services available to the general public, they need to advertise in order to maintain a client base that will support their work. However, a Michigan statute and administrative rule completely banned limited license psychologists from advertising their services. This ban contravened the long-standing recognition that the First Amendment protects truthful, non-misleading advertising, and the ACLU’s position that the public has a right to know about important services that are available to them. In February 2015 the ACLU of Michigan filed suit on behalf of two therapists who were forced by state officials to take down their ads and were in danger of losing their practice because of their inability to advertise. The case was settled inAugust 2015 after the state agreed to issue an administrative ruling allowing advertising.

(Seldin v. Zimmer; ACLU Legal Director Michael J. Steinberg and Legal Fellow Linda  Jordan; Cooperating Attorney Andrew Nickelhoff  of Sachs Waldman.)

To view the full 2014-2015 Legal Docket, click here.

Related Issues: