March 31, 2016

When members of the U.S. Congress wanted to learn about occupational licensing, they naturally turned to IJ. After all, for decades, IJ has led the fight against arbitrary and irrational licensing restrictions.

So, in February 2016, IJ Attorney Robert Everett Johnson and IJ client Bill Main ventured to Capitol Hill to give Congress a piece of their mind.

IJ and Bill previously teamed up to bring a First Amendment lawsuit challenging Washington, D.C.’s tour guide licensing law—a lawsuit that ended with a victorious appellate decision. Bill told members of Congress about his experience with D.C.’s law.

Members were receptive to IJ’s message. Sen. Mike Lee, for instance, observed that, “as more and more professions become subject to burdensome licensure requirements, this issue has come to involve basic freedom—the freedom to work and provide for one’s family.” IJ has been saying exactly that for decades.

Increasingly, IJ’s advocacy is yielding dividends, as a bipartisan consensus has begun to emerge against occupational licensing. Even the White House put out a report critical of the practice.

Our ideas are catching fire. And whether it is in the marble halls of Congress or in the courtroom, IJ will continue to fight until the right to earn an honest living is protected for all entrepreneurs.

Subscribe to get Liberty & Law magazine direct to your mailbox!

Sign up to receive IJ's bimonthly magazine, Liberty & Law, along with breaking news updates about the Institute for Justice's fight to protect the rights of all Americans.