Institute for Justice Files New Legal Challenge Against Louisiana’s Florist Licensing Scheme

J. Justin Wilson
J. Justin Wilson · March 4, 2010

“I can’t conceive of an occupation less in need of government regulation than floral arranging,” said Tim Keller, an Institute for Justice attorney and lead counsel in this case. “There is no reason to license florists because there is no risk to anyone from buying flower arrangements from unlicensed florists. There is no justification for a licensing regime that excludes anyone—much less significant numbers of people—from pursuing an honest living as a florist. If Louisiana can license a harmless occupation like floristry, there is no limit to what it can license or to the burdens it can impose on honest, productive livelihoods.”

This is the second time the Institute for Justice has sought to strike down this unconstitutional barrier to economic liberty. The first time IJ litigated its case in Louisiana on behalf of would-be florists; its clients passed away or were forced out of the state because of Hurricane Katrina.

Louisiana is the only state that requires florists to obtain a government-issued license before they may create and sell floral arrangements. To obtain a license, aspiring florists must pass a subjective examination that is judged by their future competition—florists who already hold a license. Each year, the state arbitrarily fails numerous test takers.