Monday, July 13, 2015

Eyebrow threader licensing law struck down in TX

Is This the Most Libertarian Legal Opinion Ever Written? - Hit & Run : - Damon Root:

July 8, 2015 - "In a resounding victory last month for economic liberty, the Texas Supreme Court struck down a state licensing law that required eyebrow threaders to complete 750 hours of costly and unnecessary cosmetology training in order to receive the state's permission to charge customers for the harmless act of removing unwanted eyebrow hairs with a loop of cotton thread.

"'The requirement of 750 hours of training to become licensed is not just unreasonable or harsh,' the Texas Supreme Court held in Patel v. Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, it is 'so burdensome as to be oppressive'....

"As the Texas high court pointed out, 'persons licensed to apply eyelash extensions — a specialty involving the use of chemicals and a high rate of adverse reactions — are required to undergo only 320 hours of training.' Eyebrow threading, by contrast, is an entirely safe occupation that involves no chemicals and requires only that practitioners follow the most rudimentary of sanitary practices, such as the regular washing of hands. To force would-be eyebrow threaders to spend as much as $9,000 on 750 hours of pointless training in order to obtain a pointless license is practically the definition of arbitrary government....

"Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett filed a lengthy concurring opinion of his own, in which he launched a full-throated defense of economic liberty under both the Texas and U.S. Constitutions.... Here's an excerpt from Justice Willett's superb concurrence:
This case concerns the timeless struggle between personal freedom and government power. Do Texans live under a presumption of liberty or a presumption of restraint? The Texas Constitution confers power — but even more critically, it constrains power. What are the outer-boundary limits on government actions that trample Texans' constitutional right to earn an honest living for themselves and their families? Some observers liken judges to baseball umpires, calling legal balls and strikes, but when it comes to restrictive licensing laws, just how generous is the constitutional strike zone? Must courts rubber-stamp even the most nonsensical encroachments on occupational freedom? Are the most patently farcical and protectionist restrictions nigh unchallengeable, or are there, in fact, judicially enforceable limits?"
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