Red Tape Restricts D.C.

  • July 18, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    DC’s small business regulations are too numerous and too burdensome, and they’re hurting hard-working Washingtonians just trying to earn a living. The Institute for Justice is working with business owners across the District to fight for simpler regulations. The current licensing process is difficult for both business owners and Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs…

  • July 18, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    The District’s new rules for childcare workers are going to keep hundreds of hard-working and qualified people from earning an honest living! The DC Office of the Superintendent of Education (OSSE) enacted several burdensome education requirements for childcare workers in December 2016. According to new rules, all District childcare center directors must earn a bachelor’s…

  • July 18, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    Should African-style, natural hair braiding—a totally safe and time-tested craft—require entrepreneurs to spend big bucks for 500 of hours of training before being allowed to enter the industry?  Louisiana’s Board of Cosmetology thinks so. In Louisiana, braiders must spend 500 hours in a classroom at one of only two licensed schools before passing an exam…

  • July 18, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    African-style, natural hair braiders in Tennessee are facing major harassment and fines for practicing their craft without a specialty license. Braiders are being fined anywhere from $1,000 to $11,000 merely for operating without a government permission slip. Some have been told that they must shut their doors, leaving them with the tough choice of continuing…

  • July 18, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    Home baking is a way for entrepreneurs to get started small in their own homes without having to spend tens of thousands of dollars on professional equipment and commercial kitchen space. States across the country have embraced these businesses as job creators and revenue generators, but New Jersey is now the only state to completely…

  • July 18, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    IJ celebrated a victory with hair braiders in Maryland in 2015.  Maryland does not currently regulate African hair braiding, earning it an A in our 2014 50-state report card, Untangling Regulations.  A state senator introduced legislation that would create a specialty license, requiring 200 hours of coursework or a 15-month apprenticeship—but most problematically, it would…

  • July 18, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    African-style, natural hair braiders, teaming up with IJ, scored a major victory in Kentucky in 2016 when the Commonwealth passed a law that exempts braiders from needing to get a government-issued license to braid hair. Previously, braiders were forced to take 1,800 hours of unnecessary cosmetology training and spend six months as an apprentice before…

  • July 18, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    The New Jersey Hair Braiding Freedom Coalition is dedicated to removing the onerous 1200-hour training and two-part exam cosmetology license requirement to braid hair in New Jersey. Hair braiding is a time-tested, safe practice that is deeply rooted in African cultural heritage and carries with it significant historical importance. The art and foundation of “traditional”…

  • July 18, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    Washington, D.C., has one of the best food-truck scenes in the country. Indeed, the success of the local food truck industry—aided by D.C. bureaucrats’ uncharacteristic decision to avoid strangling it in red tape while it was in its infancy—gave hope to many that D.C. might actually be working to rehabilitate its (well-deserved) reputation as a…

  • July 18, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    Until September 2015, it was illegal for pushcart vendors to sell any food other than whole produce or packaged frozen desserts in Chicago. The IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship teamed up with street vendors across the city to form the Street Vendors Justice Coalition, to fight for the vendors’ right to earn an honest living. After…

  • July 18, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    African-style, natural hair braiding is a time-tested practice that is deeply rooted in African cultural heritage.  And it’s totally safe:  it is simply braiding hair.  Yet some states require braiders to obtain cosmetology licenses in order to braid legally, which can require thousands of hours of irrelevant training in using harmful dyes and chemicals—practices braiders…

  • July 18, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    New Orleanians love food trucks. Yet, despite their enormous popularity, food truck entrepreneurs in the Crescent City faced some of the worst laws in the nation. They could not operate within 600 feet of brick-and-mortar restaurants, had to move every 45 minutes, and were banned entirely from the Central Business District and French Quarter. These…

  • July 18, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    New Hampshire has officially joined the 22 other states that allow African-style natural hair braiders to work without a permission slip from the government. At the beginning of 2017, New Hampshire was one of the worst states in the nation for braiders.  In order to work legally in the Granite State, braiders were required to…

  • July 18, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    Food truck owners in Sarasota County scored a victory in 2016 after they teamed up with IJ to fight to reform some of the very worst food-truck laws in the country.  As part of our National Street Vending Initiative, IJ teams up with food truck owners and traditional street vendors nationwide to challenge anti-competitive and…

  • March 8, 2017

    Greetings, activist! At IJ, we know the importance of keeping state and local governments in check. When governments abuse their power, IJ is there fighting to protect property rights, free speech, educational choice and economic liberty. Tell us which of IJ’s four pillars is your favorite and why and you could be featured on IJ’s…

  • March 14, 2016    |   Private Property

    Take action and tell Mayor Hall that you oppose his assault on Pleasant Ridge! Mayor Bob Hall of Charlestown, Indiana, has for years waged a single-minded war with the aim of destroying 354 homes in the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood, in order to pave the way for private development. In 2014, the Institute for Justice won…

  • March 14, 2016    |   Economic Liberty

    Support braiding freedom!  Contact your state legislator and tell them to vote YES on S.B. 269. For 25 years, IJ has advocated for entrepreneurs’ right to earn an honest living.  We often do this by challenging government-issued licenses that have nothing to do with protecting the public’s health and safety, but everything to do with protecting…

  • February 11, 2016    |   Economic Liberty

    The Institute for Justice, a non-profit, civil liberties law firm, is offering high school students in Florida a chance to win a $500 scholarship and the opportunity to help pass a law and increase economic opportunity in their state.

  • February 10, 2016    |   Economic Liberty

    That’s right. Cookies. In New Jersey, it is illegal to sell baked goods made in your home kitchen. That’s because the state has yet to pass a “cottage food” law that permits small, home-based entrepreneurs to prepare and sell baked goods that are perfectly safe, such as cookies, muffins and breads. This penalizes the many valid…

  • January 22, 2016    |   Private Property

    The problem begins when miniscule local governments have no tax base to pay the bloated costs of their administrations. Rather than balance the books by consolidating with neighboring cities and eliminating redundant services, these governments have turned to treating their citizens like ATMs. In many Missouri towns, their first idea was to take money from…

  • November 11, 2015    |   Private Property

    For decades, Californians faced a double injustice. The state’s redevelopment agencies routinely used eminent domain to seize perfectly fine homes and businesses and transfer them to private developers. Billions of tax dollars would then flow into these developers’ ill-conceived schemes—schemes that often failed to meet expectations. The redevelopment agencies were responsible for at least 200…

  • September 17, 2015    |   Private Property

    Save North Side STL, an organization dedicated to saving 47 homes on the north side of St. Louis from eminent domain, is asking the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) to remove their neighborhood from the list of locations it is considering for its relocation. The NGA is currently considering three other sites—none of which would…

  • September 16, 2015    |   Economic Liberty

    When it comes to bad vending laws in the United States, Sarasota County, Fla., takes the cake (and all the other good eats, too). In the world of mobile vending, some local governments enact “proximity bans” that forbid food trucks and carts from operating near brick-and-mortar restaurants. Lawmakers sometimes try to pass these off as…

  • September 16, 2015    |   Private Property

    Civil forfeiture is a legal tactic that allows police and prosecutors to seize cars, homes, and cash. Property owners don’t have to be convicted of a crime to lose their property—in fact, they don’t even have to be charged with one. And it gets worse. Who often gets to keep for their own use the…

  • September 15, 2015    |   Private Property

    Sign the Petition to Stop West Haven Eminent Domain Abuse! Just 50 miles west of the birthplace of the infamous Supreme Court case Kelo v. City of New London, eminent domain abuse is preparing to strike again. Last summer, the city of West Haven, Conn., approved a plan by developer duo Sheldon Gordon and Ty Miller…

  • December 18, 2014    |   First Amendment

    Wall murals often serve to brighten neighborhoods and bring underutilized spaces to life. But many local governments frown upon this form of speech as they feel the art is sometimes too closely related to the businesses which commissioned it. Then the art becomes “commercial speech,” and is afforded less constitutional protection—even though speech is speech,…

  • December 18, 2014    |   Private Property

    Charlie Birnbaum’s parents—both immigrants and survivors of the Holocaust—left him many things: a love of this country, a deep passion for music and a home right near the boardwalk in Atlantic City. That home—his parents’ foothold in their adopted country—has been a source of love, tragedy and renewal to his family for the past 50…

  • May 21, 2014    |   Private Property

    In February, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Private Property Rights Protection Act (PRPA). . . again. And it again sits before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, which has yet again failed to take action on this important legislation. The bill, H.R. 1944, is a response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous Kelo decision,…

  • May 15, 2014    |   Private Property

    The city of Richmond, Indiana, wants to push property owners off of their land for code violations, but is refusing to tell them what those violations are. Take action now: Tell the Richmond Common Council that property owners have the right to keep what they have worked so hard to own, and, if their properties…

  • February 2, 2014    |   Economic Liberty

    The transportation industry has seen a staggering amount of change in recent years, thanks to hard-working and thoughtful entrepreneurs. But regulators and cartels are pumping the brakes. Whether it’s banning tech-savvy ridesharing firms like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, meddling with fares, or artificially constricting the supply of taxi permits so that independent drivers can’t possibly afford to break into…

  • January 30, 2014    |   Private Property

    Eminent domain is for public use – things like roads and schools – but all too often, cities team up with their developer friends to condemn perfectly fine homes and businesses for private development. This is an unconstitutional abuse of eminent domain and it must be stopped. Join the fight to stop eminent domain abuse:…

  • January 29, 2014    |   Economic Liberty Private Property

    Can the government prohibit you from peacefully and productively using your own property to feed your family? The city of Miami Shores, Fla., says yes—as do many other cities across the nation. If your city prohibits vegetable gardens on your property, report it to us today. For 17 years, Hermine Ricketts and her husband Tom…

  • January 28, 2014    |   Economic Liberty

    UPDATE: On December 2, the city will hear recommendations about an ordinance that would legalize sidewalk vending.  The Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign is holding a rally before the hearing.  Please join them and share this flyer! (En Español) In Los Angeles, the city that brought us the food-truck revolution, traditional sidewalk vending is illegal—turning…

  • January 28, 2014    |   Economic Liberty

    Love food trucks and street vendors? So do we. But unfortunately, some brick-and-mortar restaurants and establishments view the legislative process as a way to stifle street vendors in order to protect themselves from competition, by pushing for bans on food trucks and vendors within a certain distance from their businesses or prohibitions on food trucks’…

  • January 22, 2014    |   Economic Liberty

    JUNE 2014 UPDATE: Food trucks are now allowed to vend in Bergen County parks. More than 12 trucks are rotating through the parks on a monthly basis, finally providing New Jersey with a taste from its talented food-truck chefs.    It’s tough to be a food-truck entrepreneur in New Jersey. Anti-competitive and burdensome laws make…

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