Palomar Health Faces Legal Challenge for Suppression of Elected Official’s Speech

San Diego, CA – The Dhillon Law Group, in conjunction with the Center for American Liberty, has  filed a legal complaint against Palomar Health District due to First Amendment violations. Director Laurie Edwards-Tate is asking the court for a declaration that the Board’s policies  violate the First Amendment, and an injunction preventing the district from sanctioning her  speech. 

View the complaint here. 

Background: In August 2023, the Palomar Health administration changed its website access controls. Before being able to view website content, a user has to agree to terms of use that  waive privacy rights, waive the right to participate in a class action lawsuit, and agree to  arbitration. 

Director Edwards-Tate told a local news reporter in a personal capacity that she had concerns  about the terms of use. Specifically, stating that they inappropriately restricted public access to  the Palomar Health website. 

Ms. Edwards-Tate is a public official who obtains rights under the First Amendment and  California Constitution to convey these concerns to her constituents. Ms. Edwards-Tate argues  that she has a moral obligation as an elected official to serve her constituents by making them  aware of her concerns about what is being done with their tax dollars. 

This expressed opinion was contrary to hospital administration’s desired messaging.  Subsequently, counsel for the hospital emailed Director Edwards-Tate recommending she be  investigated for her public comments to her constituents that were not “coordinated” with the  hospital’s legal counsel and media relations team. 

Quotes: “The district’s position here flies in the face of the First Amendment. They are trying to  sanction an elected official for telling the people she represents about a policy she disagrees  with,” said Dhillon Law Group Counsel Karin Sweigart. “It is hard to think of a more blatant  infringement on First Amendment speech than the government telling a legislator they cannot tell their constituents they think a government policy is a bad one.” 

“Representing my constituents is a responsibility I take seriously,” said Laurie Edwards-Tate. “If  I see something happening in the district and there is a concern about it, I have both the right 

and the responsibility to let them know. Yet, for doing that, the district is threatening to  sanction me.” 

To schedule an interview with Director Edwards-Tate and her legal team, please contact  Camryn Kinsey at (859) 494-1793 or 

About Dhillon Law Group 

Dhillon Law Group is a nationally recognized business, constitutional, and political law firm with  offices in California, New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Virginia. Its boutique law practice spans  commercial and corporate litigation, labor and employment discrimination, First Amendment  and defamation litigation, corporate transactions and compliance, intellectual property  services, campaign and election law, and white-collar investigations and criminal defense.  

About the Center for American Liberty 

The Center for American Liberty is a non-profit litigation, education, and public policy  organization dedicated to advancing Free Speech rights and Civil Liberties. Founded by Harmeet  K. Dhillon in 2019, the Center for American Liberty offers pro-bono and low-bono legal  representation to Americans whose fundamental freedoms are violated.