Lawsuit Announced at Goldwater Press Conference: Institute for Justice Sues Arizona Board of Cosmetology Over Licensing Requirements

Posted on December 08, 2003 | Type: Press Release
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PHOENIX-At a press conference for the release of a new Goldwater Institute report on burdensome licensing requirements and regulations, Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter staff attorney Tim Keller announced the filing of a lawsuit against the Arizona Board of Cosmetology. The Institute has filed its lawsuit on behalf of Essence Farmer, whose efforts to set up an African hairbraiding salon have been thwarted by the Board of Cosmetology's licensing rules.

At the press conference, Mark Brnovich, director of the Goldwater Institute's Center for Constitutional Government, expressed support for the lawsuit, which challenges what he called "unnecessary and anti-competitive" licensing restrictions. "To require an African hairbraider to spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars learning how to handle chemicals she will never need to use is nonsensical and culturally insensitive," Brnovich stated. "The arbitrary restrictions imposed by the Board of Cosmetology do not make consumers safer. They just make entering the cosmetology profession more expensive."

For the past three years, Farmer has worked as an African hairbraider in Maryland. Now that she is in Arizona, the Board of Cosmetology has told her that she cannot practice her craft without a cosmetology license.

The new Goldwater Institute report, Burdensome Barriers: How Excessive Government Regulations Impede Entrepreneurship in Arizona, exposes some of the heavy-handed restrictions imposed on entrepreneurs and small businesses by state, county, and city laws. As Tim Keller explains in the report, such regulations stifle competition, diminish quality of service, and drive up prices. And frequently, Arizona's licensing restrictions promote the interests of those already engaged in the regulated professions, thereby creating government-imposed cartels. Read the report here.

The press conference also featured speakers discussing Arizona's regulatory climate for small businesses and minority-owned enterprises, including Michelle Bolton, Arizona state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, and the Rev. Oscar Tillman, president of the Maricopa County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Goldwater Contact: Mark Brnovich, Director, Center for Constitutional Government, (602) 462-5000 x 232

Press Contact: Tom Jenney, Director of Communications, (602) 712-1257

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