Freedom Flix

Untangling African Hairbraiders from Utah's Cosmetology Regime

 

 

The Constitution protects the right to earn an honest living without arbitrary and unreasonable government interference. But if you want to braid hair for a living in Utah, you must submit yourself to a completely irrational licensing scheme to get permission from the government before you are allowed to work. Jestina Clayton, a college graduate, wife, mother of two and refugee from Sierra Leone’s civil war has been braiding hair for most of her life. Now she wants to use her considerable skills to help provide for her family while her husband finishes his education. But the state of Utah says she may not be paid to braid unless she first spends thousands of dollars on 2,000 hours of government-mandated cosmetology training—not one hour of which actually teaches her how to braid hair. In the same number of class hours, a person also could qualify to be an armed security guard, mortgage loan originator, real estate sales agent, EMT and lawyer—combined. Such arbitrary and excessive government-imposed licensing on such an ordinary, safe and uncomplicated practice as hairbraiding is not only outrageous, it is unconstitutional. Jestina pled her case to the Utah’s licensing board and to Utah legislators but to no avail. That is why on April 26, 2011, the Institute for Justice (IJ) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Utah to challenge Utah’s hairbraiding regulations.

 

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Freedom Flix

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   The Fight for Braiding Freedom (5:35)
Since the advent of hair braiding more than 5,000 years ago, it has been a simple and safe practice that government has no business regulating. African-style hair braiding uses no dyes or chemicals, and it is safe for braiders to perform.
   Food Trucks and Carts Are Just as Clean as Restaurants (1:07)
Research compares food-safety inspection scores of food trucks, food carts and restaurants in seven major American cities—and finds that street eats are safe eats. www.ij.org/vending
   Licensed Dentist Attacked for Charging Too Little (2:23)
When is it illegal for a licensed dentist in Arkansas to clean teeth? When he also happens to be a licensed orthodontist.
   Gov't grabs elderly man's home; won't give reason (4:10)
New Jersey’s CRDA is trying to use eminent domain to seize Charlie Birnbaum's property as part of a “mixed-use development” project. The trouble is that CRDA has no concrete plans to do anything in particular with it.
   Gov't to Citizens: Want Free Speech? Take a number. (1:15)
Can the gov't pass a law saying that only the first 12 people to vote in an election get to vote for every office, or that only the first 12 people who arrive at church get to stay for the entire sermon?
   Ariz. Supreme Court Declares Edu. Choice Program Constitutional (2:04)
The Arizona Supreme Court announced today that it will not review a unanimous Court of Appeals' decision that declared Arizona's Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) Program passes constitutional muster.
   Gov't Says "Naaayyyy" to Horse Massage (1:59)
The Ariz. State Veterinary Medical Examining Board wants to throw entrepreneurs who massage animals without a veterinary license into jail and fine them $3,500 per violation.
   Let Kids Escape Failing North Carolina Schools (3:09)
IJ has intervened to defend North Carolina's Opportunity Scholarship Program for low income parents like Cynthia Perry.
   The Top 6 Craziest Things Cops Spent Forfeiture Money On (1:07)
Under civil asset forfeiture, police can seize property suspected of involvement in criminal activity.
   Behind the Scenes of the Caswell Forfeiture Victory (5:58)
Last January, a federal court in Massachusetts dismissed a civil forfeiture action against the Motel Caswell, a family-run motel in Tewksbury, handing a complete victory to owners Russell and Patricia Caswell.
   Little American Dream Factory: Chicago Bureaucrats Put the Brakes on an Innovative Business (5:02)
The story of Zina Murray, her innovative business, and how Chicago killed it along with the dreams of fifteen other entrepreneurs.
   City Forces Homeowners to Destroy Veggie Garden (0:51)
May the government prohibit you from peacefully and productively using your own property to feed your family?
   Raw Deal: Raw Milk Farmers Fight Censorship (3:15)
In Oregon, it is perfectly legal for farmers to sell raw—or unpasteurized—milk...so long as they don’t talk about it. If they do, they face huge fines and jail time.
   Half-baked: Gov't Restricts Homemade Cookie Sales (1:56)
Can the government arbitrarily restrict where home-baking entrepreneurs can sell their treats or how much they can sell?
   Terms of Engagement: More Constitution Less Government (1:39)
The Constitution was designed to limit government power and protect individuals from the tyranny of majorities and interest-group politics. But those protections are meaningless without judges who are fully committed to enforcing them, and America's judge
   Handcuffed hairbraider sues in federal court for right to teach (2:41)
Braiders Aren't Barbers: African Hairbraider Takes Texas to Federal Court Over Economic Liberty.
   Out of control Feds raid family grocery store’s checking account over innocent bank deposits (1:45)
Government bullies are taking the little guy's milk money.
   Gov’t Forces Businesses to Overcharge Customers (1:44)
It shouldn’t be illegal for businesses to give their customers a better deal.
   Sacramento's Sign Police vs. The First Amendment and Got Muscle Health Club (2:11)
The City of Sacramento bans businesses from using sandwich boards, banners and other portable signs and is now enforcing its ban against the owners of a small independent gym, Carl and Elizabeth Fears.
   Newspaper Censorship in America: Is this Celebrated Advice Columnist a Criminal? (2:54)
In May 2013, John Rosemond—America's longest running newspaper columnist—received an astonishing order from the Kentucky attorney general: Stop publishing your advice column in the Bluegrass State or face fines and jail.

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