The Institute for Justice (IJ), America’s only libertarian, civil liberties, public interest law firm, launched its latest legal case today, this one to defend the economic rights of a small entrepreneur in Arizona to earn a living as a certified equine massage therapist. IJ’s case on behalf of Celeste Kelly is explained in the video above and also summarized below (with more details available here, and here – legal backgrounder, and here – press release):
The Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board wants to throw entrepreneurs who massage animals without a veterinary license into jail and fine them $3,500 per violation.
Celeste Kelly is a horse massage therapist who decided to turn her love of horses into a successful business. She spent hundreds of hours learning about horse anatomy and developing massage techniques to obtain private certifications in animal massage.
Massage therapists do not need a medical degree to massage humans, but entrepreneurs like Celeste who want to massage animals in Arizona must spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend four years of veterinary school where they are not even required to learn massage.
Because of this regulation, Celeste stands to lose everything. That is why on March 5, 2014, the Institute for Justice, the national law firm for liberty, filed suit in Maricopa County Superior Court on behalf of Celeste and other animal massage therapists, challenging Arizona’s animal massage regulation as an unconstitutional violation of animal massage entrepreneurs’ right to earn an honest living.
MP: Let me again recognize the Institute for Justice for its ongoing and tenacious legal advocacy on behalf of hundreds of politically-unconnected entrepreneurs and small business owners across the US, and for its ongoing efforts:
a) to advance the human rights of entrepreneurs like Celeste Kelly who are struggling to survive against oppressive city, state and federal government regulations;
b) to defend the economic liberty of small business owners like Celeste Kelly and their right to earn an honest living, create jobs and serve their customers;
c) to bring legal challenges to anti-competitive industry cartels like the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Board that use government force to enrich politically-connected industry insiders at the expense of small business owners, entrepreneurs, and the general public;
d) to protect the rights of consumers to have access to the greatest amount of market competition and the lowest possible prices; and
e) to challenge the many cases of economic protectionism across the country like the senseless restrictions on horse massage in Arizona that stifle competition, drive up prices for consumers, and reduce economic growth and job creation.
Bottom Line: America is now a freer country, and we’re all each a little bit better off and more free because of the efforts of the Institute for Justice.