Louisiana Florists (first challenge)

IJ Defends Would-Be Florists from Louisiana's Anti-Competitive Licensing Scheme
Meadows v. Odom 


IJ Client Shamille Peters

This case was first filed in 2003 but pulled due to Hurricane Katrina and other unforeseeable situations.  Information on the current case, Chauvin v. Strain, can be found here  

Why would the Louisiana Horticulture Commission force a florist to either throw away seven perfectly fine floral displays or be fined $250?  Because would-be Baton Rouge florist Sandy Meadows, like so many other women, has been unable to pass a highly subjective State-mandated floral exam—an exam graded by existing florists in the state who have a vested interest in keeping her out of work.

No other state in the nation requires a licensing exam for florists, and it is easy to understand why.  Consumers—not bureaucrats—can best decide which florists are good and which are not.

On December 18, 2003, the Institute for Justice filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Meadows and two other would-be Louisiana florists against the Louisiana Horticulture Commission seeking to have the State’s anti-competitive, anti-consumer florist licensing law declared unconstitutional.  The lawsuit seeks to vindicate their right to economic liberty—the right to earn an honest living free from excessive government regulation.


Essential Background


Backgrounder: Let a Thousand Florists Bloom; Uprooting Outrageous Licensing Laws in Louisiana

Client Photo

Client Video - none available

Latest Release: Louisiana Florist Case Moot; Decision Upholding Licensing Regime Vacated (August 1, 2006)

Client Audio: Licensing Florists in Lousiana Free Liberal November 21, 2006

Launch Release: National Law Firm & Would-be Florists Challenge Louisiana’s Licensing Scheme (December 18, 2003)

Legal Briefs and Decisions

IJ's 5th Circuit brief; filed 7/5/05

Court's ruling granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants.


Case Timeline

Filed Lawsuit:


December 18, 2003

Court Filed:


U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana



Defendant's motion for summary judgement granted (March 3, 2005)

Current Court:

5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals


Dismissed as moot in light of events surrounding Hurricane Katrina (August 1, 2006)

Next Key Date:




Additional Releases

Maps, Charts and Facts

Release: Louisiana Florists Seek Independence From State Licensing Scheme (July 1, 2005)

Map: States That License Florists

Release: Court Cases Ask: Is America Still the Land of Opportunity? Federal Courts Protect Cartels, Uphold Arbitrary Licensing Requirements, Stifle Entrepreneurial Opportunity (March 15, 2005)


Op-eds, News Articles and Links

Article: The lost cause of competition The Advocate
August 7, 2006

Release: Blooming Nonsense This Mother’s Day; Rooting Out Big Government In Louisiana’s Floral Industry (April 28, 2004)


Article: Insufficient bang for the buck Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
May 9, 2005

Article: Flower Power Liberty & Law February 2004

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