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In Memory of IJ Client Elizabeth Gohl

It takes a special person to balance a career, motherhood and being part of constitutional litigation—all while fighting a life-threatening disease. But Dr. Elizabeth Gohl was just such a person. Readers first learned about Dr. Gohl in the last issue of Liberty & Law. She was a client in IJ’s ongoing battle with the Arkansas Dental Board over the right of orthodontists and other dental specialists to offer basic low-cost dental services. Dr. Gohl passed away on August 19, due to complications from cancer.

Dr. Gohl joined the fight because she believed that government should not be allowed to tell people where and how they can use their skills. She certainly had a long history of using her skills. Dr. Gohl was a dentist in the U.S. Navy for seven years before becoming an orthodontist. After she left the Navy, she continued to volunteer on aid missions around the world. Even though she had performed dental work for years, Arkansas wouldn’t let Dr. Gohl participate in charity dental clinics like “Free Extraction Day” because she happened to be both a licensed orthodontist and a licensed dentist.

Dr. Gohl found it absurd that Arkansas prevents skilled professionals from helping others in need and joined IJ in federal court. Her legal case continues through her co-client, Dr. Ben Burris.

IJ is deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Gohl, but we are thankful that we were able to represent such a smart, dynamic and principled woman.

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