Texas Interior Design

Byrum, et al. v. Landreth, et al.
Challenging Texas' Licensing of Speech For Interior Designers

Vickee Byrum is an interior designer, but, remarkably, the State of Texas insists that she keep that fact a secret. 

While anyone in Texas may legally provide interior design services, state law dictates that only those with government-issued licenses may call themselves “interior designers” or use the words “interior design” to describe what they do.

On May 9, 2007, the Institute for Justice, a national public interest law firm that defends free speech and the rights of entrepreneurs, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Austin on behalf of Vickee and three other entrepreneurs challenging Texas’ “titling” law as a violation of free speech rights protected by the First Amendment.

The Texas Board of Architecture and Interior Design put up a spirited but ultimately futile defense.  Shortly after the Fifth Circuit ruled, in April 2009, that we were entitled to a preliminary injunction suspending enforcement of the interior design law, the state amended the statute to cure the constitutional defect by allowing anyone who performs interior design work in Texas to use the terms "interior design" and "interior designer" to advertise their services.


Essential Background


Backgrounder: Challenging Texas’ Licensing of Speech For Interior Designers

Client Photo - none available

Client Video - none available

Video: Independent Designers Don't Cause Harm Admits Texas Licensing Champion

Latest Release: Free Speech Win for Texas Interior Designers (May 13, 2009)

Legal Briefs and Decisions

Download: Institute for Justice Complaint

Launch Release: Texas Interior Designers File Lawsuit Challenging State Censorship (May 9, 2007)

Download: Defendants' Answer

Download: Plaintiffs' Combined Motion for Summary Judgment and Preliminary Injunction

Download: Defendants' Response to and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment and Exhibit C

Download: Plaintiffs' Response to Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment

Download: Defendants' Reply to Plaintiffs' Response

Download: Plaintiffs' Surreply


Case Timeline

Filed Lawsuit: 


May 9, 2007

Court Filed:


U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division



none available

Next Key Date:


Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction and for Summary Judgment Filed June 11, 2007

Response due June 22, 2007

Additional Releases

Maps, Charts and Facts

Release: Texas Speech Ban Blocked by Federal Appeals Court (April 24, 2009)

Designing Cartels: How Industry Insiders Cut Out Competition

Release: Texas Interior Designers Have Their Day in Court (January 14, 2008)


Op-eds, News Articles and Links

Article: Victory in Texas! Liberty & Law (June 2009)

Video: No Harm from Unregulated Interior Designers in Texas Says Marilyn Roberts; (March 13, 2009)

Article: IJ Takes the Fight to the Interior Design Cartel, Liberty & Law (June 2007)

Article: Interior decorators file lawsuit, Austin American-Statesman, (May 10, 2007)

Article: They design interiors -- but can they tell customers that?, Austin Business Journal, (May 10, 2007)

Article: Decorators fight legislation to limit practice, Austin American-Statesman, (May 3, 2007) (registration required)

Article: George Will: Wallpapering with red tape Washington Post, (March 22, 2007)

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