Does the government have the right to deny business permits because neighbors complain? Today the Arizona Supreme Court said no.
Ryan and Letitia Coleman followed all the rules the City of Mesa, Arizona set out to qualify for a business permit to open a high-end tattoo studio. But when neighbors complained, the city council denied the permit on a 6-1 vote. The only vote for the Colemans was Mesa Mayor Scott Smith who said there was not a shred of evidence that the business would harm the community.
The Goldwater Institute was proud to team up with the Colemans to ensure that business permit decisions are based on firm rules that apply equally to all and that entrepreneurs aren’t subject to arbitrary decision-making by government officials.
And for those of you who are “inked,” as an added bonus, this case became the first in the country where a state’s highest court has determined that tattooing is protected by the First Amendment. Congratulations to the Colemans!