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(Little Rock) (AP) – A federal judge is to hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging an Arkansas law that prohibits registered sex offenders from receiving Medicaid funds.

U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson is scheduled to hear arguments in Dr. Lonnie Joseph Parker’s effort to block enforcement of the law while Parker challenges its constitutionality. The law was approved by the state Legislature earlier this year and took effect Aug. 16.

Parker was convicted in 2000 of possessing child pornography, but has long maintained his innocence and had his medical license reinstated in 2005. He argues that the prohibition would effectively put him out of business since most of his patients are on Medicaid.

State officials argue that the law serves the public’s interest and that Parker could still practice medicine despite the ban.

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