New Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Jeremy Talcott generously gives me some credit for his interest in defending liberty. At about the 5:50 mark. While blogging, one is so disconnected from the readers it sometimes feels like lecturing in a pitch black auditorium and wondering if anyone is in the audience. PLF is one of the half dozen top organizations in the country using litigation to protect liberty (along with others like the IJ, Goldwater, Mackinac, etc.)
Posts tagged ‘IJ’
I don't have much to add to this story, but I was simply thrilled Clint Bolick was named to the AZ Supreme Court. I have admired his work for years and I think most folks in AZ who know him consider him to be fair-minded and about as non-partisan as one can be in these times. I love the IJ, which he co-founded, and his work at Goldwater (particularly opposition to a bunch of crony subsidies for real estate and sports teams) has been terrific.
I was a little surprised at all the vitriol at the national level that came from progressive groups over this appointment. My sense is that he shares a lot more common ground with progressives than, say, many AZ Republicans would (compare, for example, Joe Arpaio or John Kavanagh). My only guess here is that his record is too good on helping the ordinary people progressives claim to help.
Update: Last part asked and answered:
Here’s a point worth pondering: Why is it that the so-called progressives, who incessantly say they’re concerned about the plight of poor people, never fight against the laws and regulations that take property from poor people and prevent them from engaging in honest businesses? Why is there no left-wing counterpart to IJ?
The answer, I submit, is that progressives are more concerned about preserving the myth that big government is the one and only friend of the poor than they are about the poor as individuals. Each time a lawyer like Clint Bolick wins a case that enables a poor American to gain when the yoke of government is removed from his shoulders, that myth frays a little more.
Closely on the heals of their victory in an asset forfeiture case in New York, the Institute of Justice (IJ) successfully fought the state licensing requirement for hair braiders in Texas.
A 2013 press statement on the Institute for Justice’s website described Brantley’s frustration with the criteria: “This means that Isis must spend 2,250 hours in barber school, pass four exams, and spend thousands of dollars on tuition and a fully-equipped barber college she doesn’t need, all to teach a 35-hour hair-braiding curriculum,” the statement read.
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks on Monday seemed to agree with Brantley’s concerns that the requirements for hair-braiding entrepreneurs were superfluous. Sparks ruled that the Texas laws were unconstitutional and “absent” a rational connection with Brantley’s intended marketplace, the Associated Press reports.
“I fought for my economic liberty because I believe there is a lot of hope for young people who seek to earn an honest living,” Brantley said in a press statement. “This decision means that I will now be able to teach the next generation of African hair braiders at my own school.”
Good. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a way to fight these stupid licensing laws except one at a time, state by state. And every time we take one on, the incumbent competitors in that business (who are the primary beneficiaries of licensure that restricts new competition) fight tooth and nail every step of the way.
I will observe that red states are just as bad as blue states on occupational licenses. This is cronyism, not ideology. From this site, here are just a few the occupational licenses one still needs in Texas (this is from a school web site, so these are just the ones that have continuing education requirements that this school serves). I suspect that this list is incomplete, as long as it is, because barbers and hair stylists, the subject of this case, are not even on the list.
|LICENSED OCCUPATIONS IN TEXAS|
|Continuing Education Requirements|
|Licensed Occupations||License||Continuing Education Requirements to Renew|
|Accountants & Auditors||Certified Public Accountant||Annual CEUs Ethics-2hrs/yr|
|Acupuncturist||Acupuncturist||17 hours CAE/yr|
|Heating, A/C, & Refrigeration Mechanics & Installers||A/C & Refrigeration Contractor||Voluntary continuing education|
|Athletic Trainer||Athletic Trainer||30 clock hours/ 3 years|
|Judges and Magistrates||Attorney||15 CLE hours/year inc. 3 hrs. ethics|
|Combative Sports Promoter||Boxing Promoter||Voluntary continuing education|
|Child Care Administrator||Child Care Administrator||15 hours for biennial renewal|
|Compliance Officers||Code Enforcement Officer||to be required; rules in development|
|Counselors, Chemical Dependency||Chemical Dependency Counselor||If also licensed as LMSW, LMFT,LPC, physician, or
psychologist-24 hours CE/2yrs.
If not otherwise licensed, 60 hours.
All hours specific to or related to chemical dependency.
|Counselor, Professional||Counselor, Professional||12 hours/year inc. 3 hours ethics or legal issues every other yr.|
|Dental Hygienists||Dental Hygienist||12 hours/year|
|Dietitians and Nutritionists||Dietitian||6 clock hours/year|
|Drinking Water Utility Plant Operator||Certificate Classes 1-3||1-2 courses in water conditioning|
|Emergency Medical Technicians||Emergency Medical Technician||Varies by level: see below|
|Emergency Care Attendants (ECA)||20 contact hours CE/2yrs; 40 hours within 4/yr cert. period|
|Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT)||40 contact hours CE/2yrs; 80 hours within 4/yr cert. period|
|EMT-Intermediates (EMT-1)||60 contact hours CE/2 yrs; 120 hours within 4/yr cert. period|
|EMT-Paramedics (EMT-P)||80 contact hours CE/2 yrs; 160 hours within 4/yr cert. period|
|Engineers||Professional Engineer||None required|
|Fire Fighters||Fire Protection Personnel/Firefighter||20 hrs CE/year|
|Fire Inspectors||Fire Protection System Contractor||None found|
|Funeral Directors & Morticians||Funeral Director/Embalmer||20 hrs/yr; required 2 hrs-law updates; 2-ethics; 2-vital stats|
|Salespersons, Retail||Hearing Instrument Fitter/Dispenser||20 hrs/yr|
|Insurance Adjusters, Examiners, & Investigators||Insurance Adjuster||30 hrs/2yrs, including 2 hrs/ethics (Most licensees)|
|Sales Agents & Placers, Insurance||Insurance Agent||15 hours CE/yr|
|Interior Designers||Interior Designer||8 hrs/yr|
|Interpreter||Interpreter for the Deaf||75 hrs/5 yrs.|
|Construction-Irrigator||Irrigator, Landscape||8 hours/yr|
|Surveyors and Mapping Scientists||Land Surveyor||8 hrs/yr|
|Landscape Architects||Landscape Architect||8 CEPH/year (CE Program Hrs) TBAE|
|Police Detectives||Law Enforcement Officer||40 hrs/2 yrs Currently in 4 yr cycle|
|Librarians, Professional||Librarian, County|
|Grades II & III (valid for two years)||3 semester hrs at accredited college
or 20 hrs other continuing education activities
|Grade I (permanent)|
|Marriage & Family Therapist||Marriage & Family Therapist||15 hrs/yr; 3 hrs ethics every 3 yrs.|
|Massage Therapist||Massage Therapist||6 clock hrs/yr|
|Medical Scientists||Medical Physicist, Professional||24 contact hours/2 years|
|Radiologic Technologists||Medical Radiologic Technologist, General||24 hours/2 years|
|Limited Certificate||12 hours/2 years|
|Nursing Aides, Orderlies, & Attendants||Midwife, Direct Entry||10 hours CE /yr|
|Licensed Practical Nurses||Nurse, Licensed Vocational (LVN)||20 contact hours (2 CEUs)/2 yrs|
|Registered Nurses||Nurse, Registered (RN)||20 contact hours (2 /CEUs)/2 yrs|
|Nurse Aide, Long Term Care||none found|
|Medicine & Health Services Managers||Nursing Facility Administrator||40 hours CE/ 2 yrs|
|Occupational Therapists||Occupational Therapist||30 hrs/2 yrs.|
|Occupational Therapist Assistant||30 hrs/2yrs|
|On-Site Sewage Facility||Designated Representative||16 hrs/yr|
|Installer Class I||16 hrs/yr|
|Installer Class II||16 hrs/yr|
|Opticians, Dispensing & Measuring||Optician||5 hrs/yr for voluntarily registered opticians|
|Optometrists||Optometrist||sixteen hours of continuing education/ year inc.
six hours in diagnostic or therapeutic education
|prosthetist or orthotist license||24 hrs/2 yrs|
|prosthetist and orthotist license||40 hrs/2 yrs|
|prosthetist or orthotist assistant||12 hrs/2 yrs|
|prosthetist and orthotist assistant||20 hrs/2 yrs|
|prosthetic or orthotic technician||6 hrs/2 yrs|
|prosthetic and orthotic technician||10 hrs/2 yrs|
|Pawn Broker/Lender||Pawnbroker/Lender||None found|
|Cardiology Technologist||Perfusionist||45 CEUs/3 yrs|
|Pest Controllers & Assistants||Pesticide Applicator|
|Private Applicator||15 CEUs/5 yrs ( 2 ea. in laws/regs & integrated pest mgmt.)|
|Private Applicator Certificate Holder||15 CEUs/5 yrs|
|Commercial Applicator||5 CEUs/yr (1 ea fr 2 of: laws/regs, integ pest mgmt, drift min)|
|Noncommercial Applicator||5 CEUs/yr (1 ea fr 2 of: laws/regs, integ pest mgmt, drift min)|
|Pharmacists||Pharmacist||12 hours CE/ yr|
|Physical Therapists||Physical Therapist||3 CEUs (30 contact hours)/2yrs inc. 2 hrs. ethics;|
|Physical Therapist Assistant||2 CEUs (20 contact hours)/2 yrs inc. 2 hrs. ethics|
|Physicians and Surgeons||Physician||24 hrs CME/yr (at least 12 hours formal courses)|
|Physician Assistant||40 hrs CME/yr (at least 20 hours formal courses)|
|Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters||Plumber||6 hrs/ yr|
|Podiatrists||Podiatric Physician||30 hours CE/2 yrs|
|Polygraph Examiners||Polygraph Examiner||voluntary|
|Detectives/Investigators||Private Investigator/Security Guard||12 hrs/2yrs|
|Psychological Associate||12 hrs/yr|
|Specialist in School Psychology||12 hrs/yr|
|Sales Agents, Real Estate||Real Estate Broker||15 classroom hours MCE/ two years inc. 6 hrs legal topics|
|Real Estate Sales Agent||30 hours/yr Salesperson Annual Education (SAE)|
|Construction & Building Inspectors||Real Estate Inspector||8 hours core real estate inspection courses/year|
|Respiratory Therapists||Respiratory Care Practitioner||12 hours CE/yr|
|Sanitarian||Sanitarian||12 CE contact hours/yr|
|Sales Agent, Securities, Commodities, Financial Serv.||Securities Dealer/Investment Advisor||none found|
|Social Workers||Social Work Associate||15 hours CE/yr inc. 3 hours in ethics|
|Licensed Social Worker||15 hours CE/yr inc. 3 hours in ethics|
|Licensed Master Social Worker||15 hours CE/yr inc. 3 hours in ethics|
|Municipal Solid Waste||Solid Waste Technician Class A-Class D||40 hrs-24 hrs/4 yrs|
|Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists||Speech-Language Pathologist/Audiologist||10 hrs/yr; 15 if dually licensed|
|Tax Examiners, Collectors, & Revenue Agents||Registered Texas Assessor Collectors||60 CEUs/5 yrs|
|Registered Professional Appraisers||60 CEUs/5 yrs|
|Registered Texas Collectors||25 CEUs/5 yrs|
|Installer||Underground Storage Tank Installer||8 hrs/yr|
|UST On-Site Installer or Remover Supervisor||8 hrs/yr for each license type held|
|Veterinarians and Veterinary Inspectors||Veterinarian||15 hrs/yr; 3 hrs ethics every 3 yrs.|
|Earth Drillers||Water Well Driller/Pump Installer|
|Continuing Education Requirements|
|Clinical Laboratory Scientist||Clinical Laboratory Scientist/Med. Tech||3.6 CEUs/3 yrs|
|Clinical Laboratory Technician||Clinical Laboratory Technician/ Med. Lab. Tech.||3.6 CEUs/3 yrs|
|Clinical Laboratory Phlebotomist||Clinical Laboratory Phlebotomist||3.6 CEUs/3 yrs|
|CT(IAC) International Academy of Cytology||Cytotechnologist||180 continuing education credits/4 yrs|
|Genetic Counselor||Genetic Counselor, Diplomate||25 CEUs/10 yrs|
|Histologic technician||Histologic Technician||3.6 CEUs/3 yrs|
|Kinesiotherapist||Kinesiotherapist||1.2 CEUs (1 CE = 10 contact hours) / year|
|Leisure Professional||Leisure Professional, Certified||2 CEUs/2 yrs|
|Music Therapist||Music Therapist-Board Certified||CE|
|Orthoptist||Orthoptist||15 hours CE/yr|
|Pathologists' Assistant||Pathologists' Assistant||Certification process in development|
|Recreation Therapist||Therapeutic recreation specialist, certified||30-50 hours/5 yrs|
|Surgical Technologist||Certified Surgical Technologist||80 CE credits/6 yrs|
Faulting the IRS for attempting to “unilaterally expand its authority,” the D.C. Circuit today affirmed a district court decision tossing out the agency’s tax-preparer licensing program. Under the program, all paid tax-return preparers, hitherto unregulated, were required to pass a certification exam, pay annual fees to the agency, and complete 15 hours of continuing education each year.
The program, of course, had been backed by the major national tax-return preparers, chiefly as a way of driving up compliance costs for smaller rivals and pushing home-based “kitchen table” preparers out of business. Dan Alban of the Institute for Justice, lead counsel to the tax preparers challenging the program,called the decision “a major victory for tax preparers—and taxpayers—nationwide.”
The licensing program was not only a classic example of corporate cronyism, but also of agency overreach. IRS relied on an 1884 statute empowering it to “regulate the practice of representatives or persons before [it].” Prior to 2011, IRS had never claimed that the statute gave it authority to regulate preparers. Indeed, in 2005, an IRS official testified that preparers fell outside of the law’s reach.
Perhaps a first indication that the Obama Administration strategy to pack the DC Circuit with Obama appointees may not necessarily protect his executive overreach.
PS - you gotta love the IJ.
PPS - The IRS justified its actions under "an obscure 1884 statute governing the representatives of Civil War soldiers seeking compensation for dead horses"
Scratch "consumer" protection laws and you will almost always find the laws are really aimed a protecting incumbent businesses and traditional business models. This time from France:
To the surprise of virtually everyone in France, the government has just passed a law requiring car services like Uber to wait 15 minutes before picking up passengers. The bill is designed to help regular taxi drivers, who feel threatened by recently-introduced companies like Uber, SnapCar and LeCab. Cabbies in the Gallic nation require formidable time and expense to get their permits and see the new services -- which lack such onerous requirements -- as direct competitors.
This is the interesting political ground where the Occupy Wall Street movement and the Tea Party have a lot of overlap. That is why the Chamber of Commerce, which represents all these incumbent businesses, is working with both parties to keep the cozy corporatists in power against challenges from the Left and Right. If you are a business owner, eschew the Chamber and join the NFIB and support the IJ.
The Institute for Justice, or IJ. The do great work. What the ACLU should have been if it wasn't founded by Stalinists. Check out this aggravating example:
Imagine you own a million-dollar piece of property free and clear, but then the federal government and local law enforcement agents announce that they are going to take it from you, not compensate you one dime, and then use the money they get from selling your land to pad their budgets—all this even though you have never so much as been accused of a crime, let alone convicted of one.”
That is the nightmare Russ Caswell and his family is now facing in Tewksbury, Mass., where they stand to lose the family-operated motel they have owned for two generations.
The most contentious civil forfeiture fight in the nation will be the subject of a week-long trial starting Monday, November 5, 2012, in Boston. Throughout the week, the Institute for Justice, which represents the property owners in the case, will expose the ugly practice of civil forfeiture—where law enforcement agencies can pad their budgets by taking property from innocent owners who have never been convicted or even charged with a crime.
Eyebrow threading to remove facial hair, a practice which has ancient roots in Eastern countries such as India and Iran, is gaining popularity around the country.
And threaders can now operate freely in the state without a cosmetology license after an October court settlement determined that the Arizona Board of Cosmetology would no longer regulate the trade.
The consent judgment resulted from a lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court by five threaders, including Gutierrez.
The threaders argued that the Board of Cosmetology was merely trying to help more traditional hair removal outfits remove a source of low-cost competition. The threaders were represented by the IJ, who do great work for economic liberty
Why Can't Chuck Get His Business Off the Ground? Go watch, from the IJ (the IJ is what the ACLU should have been if they were not founded by Stalinists).
This week's episode -- Monk's making simple caskets to support themselves must desist because Louisiana has detailed licensing laws to protect current funeral homes from just this type of low-cost competition. This is what the monks would have to do to sell what is basically a nice wooden box
Louisiana law purports to require that anyone who is going to sell a casket has to jump through all same regulatory hoops as a full-fledged mortuary operation that embalms bodies. See, selling "funeral merchandise" (including caskets) means you are a "funeral director." And to be a "funeral director," you must be approved for "good moral character and temperate habits" by a funeral-related government entity [of course, that's in Louisiana, but still], complete 30 semester hours at college, apprentice with a funeral director for a year, pay an application fee, and pass an exam. But that's not all. If you want your facility to sell caskets, it's got to qualify as a facility for funeral directing, including a showroom and "embalming facilities for the sanitation, disinfection, and preparation of a human body."
The monks are being represented by the IJ (what the ACLU should have been if it weren't for its Stalinist founders) which hopes to get to the Supreme Court. If I were one of the monks (wildly unlikely as that is) I might be tempted to sell them as "human-sized wood boxes" rather than coffins and see where that got me.
I am working on a submission (outline and several chapters) for a book prize that is due December 31, so I may not be posting much over the next week. The contest is for a novel that promotes the principals of freedom, capitalism, and individual responsibility in the context of a novel (hopefully without 120-page John Galt radio speeches).
My project is one I have been tinkering with for a while, an update of the Marshall Jevons economist mysteries from the 1980's. If you are not familiar with this series, Marshall Jevons was a pseudonym for a couple of economists who wrote several murder mysteries that included a number of expositions on how economics apply to everyday life. Kind of Agatha Christie meets Freakonomics. I found the first book, Murder at the Margin, to be disappointing, but the second book called the Fatal Equilibrium was pretty good. I think the latter was a better book because the setting was university life, and the murder revolved around a tenure committee decision, topics the authors could write about closer to their experience. The books take a pro-free-market point of view (which already makes them unique) and it is certainly unusual to have the solution to a murder turn on how search costs affect pricing variability.
Anyway, for some time, I have been toying with a concept for a young adult book in roughly the same tradition. I think the Jevons novels are a good indicator of how a novel can teach some simple economics concepts, but certainly the protagonist as fusty stamp-collecting Harvard professor would need to be modified to engage young adults.
My new novel (or series of novels, if things go well) revolves around a character named Adam Smith. Adam is the son of a self-made immigrant and heir to a nearly billion dollar fortune. At the age of twenty, he rejects his family and inheritance in a wave of sixties rebellion, joins a commune, and changes his name to the unfortunate "Moonbeam." After several years, he sours on commune life, put himself through graduate school in economics, and eventually reclaims his family fortune. Today, he leads two lives: Adam Smith, eccentric billionaire, owner of penthouses and fast cars, and leader of a foundation [modeled after the IJ]; and Professor Moonbeam, aging hippie high school economics teacher who drives a VW beetle and appears to live in a trailer park. There is a murder, of course, and the fun begins when three of his high school students start to suspect that their economics teacher may have a second life. As you might expect, the kids help him solve the murder while he teaches them lessons about life and economics. The trick is to keep the book light and fun rather than pedantic, but since one business model in my last novel revolved around harvesting coins in fountains, I think I can do it.
Anyway, wish me luck and I will be back in force come the new year.
Congrats Pinal County, which border phoenix to the southeast, for pushing government intrusiveness to a new level:
At the conclusion of what Pinal County officials said was the longest
code compliance hearing in the county's history, San Tan Flat owner
Dale Bell was ordered to pay an initial $5,000 fine Tuesday for
customers dancing in the open-air portion of the restaurant. He will
also be fined $5,000 for every day people dance at his restaurant
starting Feb. 17.
Bell, who does not advertise or encourage dancing at San Tan Flat,
acknowledges that people do dance on weekend nights and it's usually
parents with children or senior couples. He has even put up signs
"It's impossible to ... ensure no one breaks out in the waltz or two step," Bell said....
County Attorney Seymour Gruber said dancing outside violates a
county code because it's not happening in an enclosed area with walls
and a roof. The county wants Bell to stop the dancing, limit it to
inside only or get a special use permit which requires public input
from neighboring property owners.
We wouldn't want people dancing without wall or a roof, would we? I mean, there is probably a 0.5% chance they could get rained on or something. If you are thinking this is some grizzled biker joint or a shack of a place, you are wrong. Its actually one year old and quite nice - check out the picture. For those of you in other parts of the country, where the idea of a family honky-tonk may seem odd, this concept is very popular in Arizona.
So why is this government harassment going on? Well I have gotten better at decoding these things, and my sense is that it started with noise complaints, which many commercial establishments get:
There have been no complaints against San Tan Flat for dancing,
but both the county and Bell have received noise complaints about the
live music. The restaurant has not been cited for noise because the
volume has been within acceptable levels.
So the county got noise complaints, and my guess is that one of the complainers had some strong political pull (or else they would never have pursued it this far). Particularly since this is not a population-dense area, and there is little housing directly nearby (see Google satellite map, just click on satellite in the upper right to see all the surrounding, uh, dirt). I mean it's right next to an airport, for god sakes. Thus, wanting to satisfy what could only be a high-profile complainer, the county moved in and pulled out the rubber glove and gave the restaurant a good probing. And, since it is impossible to be in compliance with every stupid ordinance on the books (many conflict, so that you can't be in compliance) the city found something they thought they could make stick. The only issue I can't decode is whether they are trying to use this as a bargaining chip to get operating hour or noise level changes, or if they are using it a s a club to close the place down. It probably depends mostly on how much juice the key complainer has who is driving this.
The good news is that the IJ is on the case.
PS- If you really want to get pissed off, read some of the other economic liberty cases being handled right now by the IJ. Many of them are great examples of a point I have made for years, that state licensing of professions is more about protecting the professions from competition than they are about protecting the consumer. If you haven't seen it, George Will had a great editorial on the same topic, which includes this gem:
In New Mexico, anyone can work as an interior designer. But it
is a crime, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in
prison, to list yourself on the Internet or in the Yellow Pages as, or
to otherwise call yourself, an "interior designer" without being
certified as such. Those who favor this censoring of truthful
commercial speech are a private group that controls, using an exam
administered by a private national organization, access to that title.
This is done in the name of "professionalization," but it really
amounts to cartelization. Persons in the business limit access by
others "” competitors "” to full participation in the business.
Vegas, where almost nothing is illegal, it is illegal "”
unless you are licensed, or employed by someone licensed "” to move, in
the role of an interior designer, any piece of furniture, such as an
armoire, more than 69 inches tall. A Nevada bureaucrat says that
"placement of furniture" is an aspect of "space planning" and therefore
is regulated "” restricted to a "registered interior designer." Placing
furniture without a license? Heaven forfend.
If you are not familiar with the Institute for Justice, the IJ is like the ACLU but from an alternate universe where the ACLU was not founded by a Stalinist and actually believed in property rights. The IJ represented Ms. Kelo in her fight against eminent domain to aid Pfizer in Connecticut, and often takes on stupid government licensing programs. For example, the IJ is representing some folks in New Mexico who think that it will not materially harm public safety if they do interior design without a government license:
If you need a license to arrange flowers
in a vase, it stands to reason that you'd need a license to arrange
furniture in a house"”not to mention picking paint and window
treatments. Or so the state of New Mexico (along with four other
states) seems to think. To be fair, you can do interior design in New
Mexico without a license; you just can't call it interior design, or
call yourself an interior designer, which makes it hard for potential
customers to find you. Today two people who in most states would call
themselves interior designers filed a federal lawsuit objecting to the
state's protectionist censorship on First Amendment grounds.
In the past, the IJ has also fought for the right of hair braiders and casket salesmen to operate without a state license.