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FARB Responds to Supreme Court Decision Regarding State Sovereignty

The Federation of Associations of Regulatory Boards (FARB) Responds to Supreme Court Decision Regarding State Sovereignty

Northbrook, IL - The Federation of Associations of Regulatory Boards (FARB), a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, issues the following press release in response to the recent United States Supreme Court decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission. As part of a comprehensive review, FARB has already taken steps towards incorporating new language into the FARB Generic Model Practice Act in order to assist regulatory boards responding to the judicial decision.

“Government regulation of the professions is essential to protecting the consuming public. Governmental boards and their volunteer members must be protected to eliminate threats and intimidation in carrying out these vital public protection mandates. The Supreme Court decision blurs the line between sovereign government agencies and private entities. FARB is in the unique position to assist regulatory boards across professions by ensuring they comply with the relevant factors articulated by the Supreme Court,” said Dale Atkinson, Executive Director of FARB. The two-part test cited by the Supreme Court holds that in order to claim immunity, non-sovereign governmental boards must (1) have a clearly articulated state policy and (2) be actively supervised by the state. While it is arguable that governmental boards should be deemed to be “sovereign actors” and, perhaps, required to meet only the first prong of the test, incorporating suggestions from the updated FARB Generic Model Practice Act may assist all regulatory boards meet the requisite legal protections. The FARB Generic Model Practice Act, created in 2001, assists state agencies by suggesting sound, uniform statutory language for protecting the public through professional regulation.

“Governmental licensing continues to be an important vehicle in promoting the health, safety, and welfare of the consuming public. Regulatory boards protect consumers by assessing competency in professional practice and disciplining persons found to have violated the standards. FARB promotes uniformity across jurisdictions and professions to further the public protection mission of the regulatory community.” added Mr. Atkinson.

FARB National Policy Summit on Professional Regulation

Public protection, regulatory board structure, and sovereign immunity will be among the topics discussed at the FARB National Policy Summit on Professional Regulation this July in Washington, D.C. The FARB Summit will bring top executives from associations of regulatory boards together for the formation of a collaborative future regarding professional regulation.

About the FARB Model Documents

More information about the FARB Model Documents is available at In January, FARB formed a committee to perform a comprehensive review of all Model Documents. As part of this review, the committee will be incorporating changes to respond to this Supreme Court decision. An updated version of the FARB Generic Model Practice Act will be available this summer along with updated versions of the other FARB Model Documents: the FARB Model Code of Conduct, the FARB Model Application for Licensure and Renewal, and the FARB Model Consent Agreement.

About FARB

FARB is a not for profit, 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in 1974 to promote public protection and provide a forum for information exchange for associations of regulatory boards and their stakeholders with interests in professional regulation. The mission of FARB is to promote excellence in regulation for public protection by providing expertise and innovation from a multi-professional perspective.