Virginia Yoga Challenge

Kalish v. Milliken
Challenging Virginia’s Unconstitutional Regulation of Yoga Teacher Training


Yoga-teacher trainer Julia Kalish. 

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Video: Challenging Virginia’s Unconstitutional Regulation of Yoga Teacher Training

In Virginia, you can teach anyone anything—except how to earn an honest living.

Anyone in Virginia can do yoga, and anyone can teach yoga.  But, incredibly, it is illegal to teach people to teach yoga.  Yoga-teacher training is just the latest target of vocational school licensing laws that require countless entrepreneurs to ask the government’s permission before opening their mouths.

Vocational-school licensing burdens both economic liberty and freedom of speech.  The cost of compliance is typically thousands of dollars and over a week of full-time administrative work.  For owners of small schools, these costs can make the difference between viability and closing down.
 
Vocational-school laws aren’t just bad policy—they’re unconstitutional.  The First Amendment protects the right of individuals to decide for themselves what is worth saying and who is worth listening to.  States can’t require writers to get permission before publishing a book, nor can they force filmmakers to seek permission before making and selling a movie.  Similarly, it is unconstitutional for state governments to demand that speakers ask the government’s permission before lecturing to a room of willing listeners, regardless of whether the subject is how to do something useful. 
 
This case seeks to vindicate the right of all Virginians to speak and earn an honest living.  That is why, on December 1, 2009, yoga-teacher trainers Julia Kalish, Suzanne Leitner-Wise, and Beverly Brown teamed up with the Institute for Justice to challenge the constitutionality of Virginia’s vocational-school law as applied to yoga-teacher trainers.

 
 
 

Essential Background

Images

Backgrounder: Teaching is Not a Crime: Challenging Virginia’s Unconstitutional Vocational School Licensing Law

Client Video

Client Photos

Case Launch Photos
Latest Release: Victory for Virginia Yoga Entrepreneurs (March 10, 2010)

Launch Release: Yoga Instructors File Federal First Amendment Lawsuit Seek to Vindicate the Freedom to Speak in Virginia  (December 1, 2009)

Legal Briefs and Decisions

Download: IJ's Complaint (PDF) December 1, 2009

 

Case Timeline

Filed Lawsuit: 

 

December 1, 2009

Court Filed:

 

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

Decision(s):

 

none available

 Current Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

  Status:

 
Pending
  Next Key Date:

TBD  

Additional Releases

Maps, Charts and Facts

none available

none available

Op-eds, News Articles and Links

Article: Victory for Virginia Yoga Instructors; Liberty & Law (June 2010)

Video: IJ's Chip Mellor Discusses Government Mandated Licensing With John Stossel (1 of 3); Stossel (March 24, 2010)

Article: Virginia Regulations Tie Yoga Teacher-Trainers in Knots Liberty & Law (February 2010) 


Video: Teaching is Not a Crime: VA's Unconstitutional Regulation of Yoga Teacher Training - Press 12/1/09; (December 2, 2009)

Video: Teaching is Not a Crime: Challenging Virginia's Unconstitutional Regulation of Yoga Teacher Training; (December 1, 2009)

Editorial: REGULATION: Is Crackdown on Yoga Schools Enlightened? The Richmond Times-Dispatch (December 1, 2009)


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