The California Supreme Court reportedly has resurrected a legal challenge by three therapists to a state law requiring them to tell police about any patients who say they have looked at child pornography.
In a divided 4-3 decision Thursday, the state's highest court overturned rulings that tossed a lawsuit from therapists dealing with sexual compulsions, addictions, and disorders, the news outlet reported, the Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee reported.
Their suit challenges a 2014 amendment to a California law requiring them to hand over to police the names of any patients who admit having downloaded child porn.
The Democratic court majority — all appointed by former Gov. Jerry Brown — said the lawsuit might go to trial because the therapists asserted a recognized privacy interest under the California Constitution.
The three GOP appointees on the court dissented, saying the amendment was a mere technical update.
"Our holding does not mean the reporting requirement is unconstitutional," Justice Goodwin Liu wrote for the majority, the LA Times reported.
"It means only that the burden shifts to the state to demonstrate a sufficient justification for the incursion on privacy as this case moves forward."
Two therapists and an alcohol and drug counselor sued in February 2015 to block the law, saying the amendment would discourage people from seeking therapy, the Bee noted.
They also asserted the amendment violates their patients' "constitutional right to privacy" and "patient-psychotherapist privilege," the Bee reported.
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