How Are States Responding to NC Dental?
In North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC the U.S. Supreme Court held that if the majority of state occupational licensing board members are active market participants, the licensing board is subject to federal antitrust laws.
The court ruled that the antitrust immunity afforded to government activity applies to these majority-practitioner licensing boards only if the state government engages in "active supervision" of the board's regulatory decisions to ensure any anti-competitive behavior is in the interest of the state and not just those in the licensed industry.
To comply with this ruling, some states have reorganized occupational licensing boards to have fewer current professionals as members or established stricter oversight authority within a state agency. Other states have sought to create a legal cause of action for potential licensees to bring cases against licensing boards believed to be acting in an anti-competitive manner, against the public interest.
Below is a summary of attempted action taken by state legislatures and executives to address the antitrust implications of the NC Dental ruling. Unless otherwise noted, all pieces of legislation mentioned have been passed and signed into law in their respective states.