Supreme Court Ruling on N.C. Dental Board v. FTC

CHICAGO — The American Dental Association (ADA) is extremely disappointed with the surprising decision in N.C. Dental Board v. FTC. The organization believes the decision constitutes a dramatic departure from the Supreme Court’s established law, and throws into question the regulatory, licensing, and disciplinary authority of thousands of professional boards across the country. The well-established, 70-year old precedent announced in Parker v. Brown, 317 U.S. 341, should have been applied in the North Carolina case, where the board is unquestionably a state agency created by the sovereign state of North Carolina. The ruling creates a quandary for professional boards across the country, with no explanation as to what level of “active supervision” is necessary to invoke immunity for each board. The ADA will be working with other organizations to provide some kind of guidance for the boards in view of today’s outcome.