In April 2011, I featured the Institute for Justice’s lawsuit challenging Utah’s cosmetology cartel on behalf of African hairbraider Jestina Clayton. Prior to the Utah case, the Institute for Justice had successfully challenged state cosmetology regulations in seven states on behalf of hairbraiders, and had never lost a case. IJ’s record against state cosmetology cartels is now 8-0 with a favorable ruling this week in Utah, here are the details:
1. Salt Lake Tribune — A federal judge said Wednesday the state’s demand that an African hair braider get a cosmetology license was unconstitutional since most of the training required is “irrelevant” to her home-based service.
In ruling in favor of Jestina Clayton, U.S. District Court Judge David Sam cited a 1915 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that held the right to work for a living in common, community-based occupations is the “very essence of the personal freedom and opportunity” protected by the U.S. Constitution.
2. Institute for Justice – In a major victory for economic liberty, a federal court ruled late Wednesday that Utah’s requirement that hairbraiders have a government-issued cosmetology license is unconstitutional.
The Honorable David Sam of U.S District Court for the District of Utah held, consistent with decades of U.S. Supreme Court precedent, that “The right to work for a living in the common occupations of the community is of the very essence of the personal freedom and opportunity that the Constitution was designed to protect.”
IJ President and General Counsel Chip Mellor added, “This is just the most recent decision in a string of decisions by federal courts across the country to protect the constitutional right to earn an honest living. If the State of Utah decides to appeal, we will vindicate economic liberty again, and we will keep going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Constitution does not allow the government to make entrepreneurs jump through pointless hoops. This is an opinion that will not only help Jestina, but will also help other entrepreneurs nationwide who find their right to economic liberty violated by state and local regulators for no legitimate reason.”