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The Rutherford Institute's amicus brief in Niang v. Tomblinson

Denouncing senseless overregulation, especially as it relates to occupational licensing laws, The Rutherford Institute is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a Missouri law requiring individuals to secure a costly license in order to braid hair. In weighing in on Niang v. Tomblinson, Rutherford Institute attorneys argue that licensing restrictions that require a government license in order to perform work-related tasks that pose no health or safety risks such as braiding hair deprive citizens of their constitutional right to earn a living at their chosen vocation. For instance, although African-style hair braiding poses no health or safety risks, the state of Missouri requires stylists to expend thousands of dollars for training that has nothing to do with hair braiding in order to be eligible for a license to offer African-style hair braiding services to the public. The Institute’s amicus brief points out that an essential liberty protected by the Constitution is the right to freely choose and pursue an occupation, but pointless occupational licensing laws that disproportionately harm the poor and minorities have made it impossible for many to exercise that right.

May 23, 2018 • Denouncing Burdensome Overregulation, Rutherford Institute Asks Supreme Court to Strike Law Requiring a Government License to Braid Hair