Besides unconstitutionally censoring truthful commercial speech, “titling laws” serve as precursors to full-blown occupational licensure, which is the ultimate goal of a small faction within the interior design industry led by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).
Four states license the use of the term “interior designer” without regulating the work itself. The anti-competitive intent behind such regulations is clear: anyone who goes looking for an “interior designer” on the Internet or in the Yellow Pages in those states will find only government-licensed cartel members, while overlooking scores of capable designers.
Americans’ right to freely express themselves certainly includes the right to provide truthful information to potential customers and clients. That right, enshrined in the First Amendment, cannot simply be brushed aside by states seeking to promote the anti-competitive interests of the interior design cartel. Simply put, IJ’s lawsuit will demonstrate that the First Amendment is more than mere window dressing when it comes to interior designers.