See more of the story

Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen's discrimination lawsuit against the state Board of Medical Practice has been dismissed by a federal judge.

Jensen failed to provide any examples of other physicians being treated differently when they were targets of complaints, Judge Jerry Blackwell wrote in his order from last week. He also failed to show that the board investigations had impeded his free speech, the judge said.

"Jensen therefore has not shown standing for his viewpoint discrimination and equal protection claims," the judge wrote in the 11-page dismissal order.

The former senator and candidate, who practices family medicine, noted that Blackwell dismissed the case without prejudice, meaning that Jensen can refile with additional information — something Jensen said is already in progress. "My life has been turned upside down," he said.

Last June, Jensen filed lawsuits in U.S. District Court and Carver County District Court claiming that state medical board and Attorney General Keith Ellison had discriminated against him and targeted him because of his political views. He said the board's receipt of citizen complaints and investigation of them violated his First Amendment free speech rights.

In his federal lawsuit, Jensen claimed the complaints and board inquiries placed a "cloud of constant uncertainty" over his gubernatorial campaign, according to court documents. He said the inquiries amounted to "weaponization of a government agency" and an "ideologically driven, politicized government censorship apparatus which retaliated against its opponent based on the content of the message he espoused."

The board responded that Jensen lacked standing and Blackwell agreed, writing that Jensen's complaint failed to show he suffered an injury.

To have a valid First Amendment claim, Jensen had to show that the board's actions had a "reasonably objective" chilling effect on his speech, Blackwell wrote.

Jensen claimed that the anonymous complaints to the board chilled his speech. Blackwell noted that Jensen's lawsuit provided examples of the opposite.

By fall 2020, two claims had been filed and dismissed by the board. In the following years, Jensen continued to criticize the government's handling of COVID-19 mandates and vaccine requirements. He urged civil disobedience against masks and vaccine policies. He vowed to reshape the board if re-elected. Jensen lost to Gov. Tim Walz.

Blackwell cited several instances from Jensen's own legal filings where he spoke out against COVID-19 policies "over the course of several years, as a Minnesota senator, as a private citizen, and as a major-party nominee for governor of Minnesota."

Jensen's state court complaint in Carver County is still pending and set for trial in November. But that lawsuit has been significantly reduced to a narrow set of data practice matters regarding Jensen's claims that Ellison's office failed to provide him the documents he sought.