Entrepreneurs Challenge Unconstitutional Ferry Monopoly on Lake Chelan

 

    

 

Jim and Cliff Courtney have had their plans to launch a ferry service on Lake Chelan sunk by a nearly one-hundred year old Washington State law designed to protect the existing ferry provider from competition. No new business can pick up and drop off passengers along the Lake unless they either get the consent of the current operator or prove in a trial-like proceeding that the "public convenience and necessity" requires additional service. The current provider gets to participate in the proceeding and argue why competition should be kept out. It's no wonder the law has resulted in a government-imposed monopoly on Lake Chelan ferry service since the 1920s. The Courtney brothers have joined with the Institute for Justice in filing a suit in federal court to have the law struck down as an unconstitutional violation of their economic liberty and of the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the 14th Amendment.

 

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