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Board exceeded authority, Supreme Court rules

The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday, February 25, that a North Carolina state board acted illicitly by disallowing non-dentists from providing teeth whitening services.

The 6-3 ruling, with Justice Anthony Kennedy writing for the majority, highlighted the assertion that a board comprised of predominantly active market participants runs the risk of creating a conflict between their own interests and state policy.

“This conclusion does not question the good faith of state officers but rather is an assessment of the structural risk of market participants’ confusing their own interests with the state’s policy goals,” Kennedy said.

The ruling denies the board the right to issue “cease and desist” letters to non-dentists who chose to whiten teeth for a lesser price than dentists. Justice Elena Kagan, furthered Justice Kennedy’s assertions, contending that it seemed clear the board full of dentists was acting in their own interests, instead of abiding by governmental policy.

Read the ruling here.