A LICENSE TO SELL CASKETS? PREVELENT LICENSING LAWS ON THE LABOR MARKET AND JUDICIAL CONTROL

Author: 

Ruichao Hu

This article discusses the dramatic rise in occupations that require licenses over the last few decades, as well as the onerous requirements that often accompany the licenses, making it difficult for some individuals to practice their chosen trade. Obtaining and maintaining occupational licenses often requires time, training, and fees. The author argues that this required licensing affects the basic right to earn a living, and thus warrants a different level of scrutiny by the courts than what is usually applied. The article traces the increase in occupational license requirements, as well as the political and economic reasons behind the rise, and possible justifications for licensing. Next, a series of casket-selling cases that involved varying levels of judicial scrutiny and varying results are analyzed. Finally, the author recommends a return to the use of the rational basis test as it was originally intended to determine the constitutionality of occupational licensing laws. View More.