No Design Legislation

Opposing interior design legislation everywhere

CT Law Ruled Unconstitutional!

The Institute for Justice has scored another victory in our Campaign for Economic Liberty, our multi-year effort to elevate economic liberty to national prominence like we did with the issues of school choice and eminent domain abuse.


In this lawsuit, we challenged a Connecticut state law that allows anyone to perform interior design services, but dictates that only those with government-issued licenses may call themselves “interior designers.” Besides unconstitutionally censoring truthful commercial speech, “titling laws” like Connecticut’s serve as precursors to full-blown occupational licensure (the ultimate goal of a small, well-funded faction within the interior design industry).


IJ’s strategic research has shown such regulations result in higher prices, less variety, and fewer employment opportunities, especially for minorities and older mid-career switchers, without any benefit to public health or safety (the standard by which all such regulations should be judged).

It is these types of occupational regulations that are the target of the Campaign for Economic Liberty and that we will litigate against to restore constitutional protection for the right to earn an honest living.

Below is our news release on yesterday’s court decision. Thank you for making this and all our work possible.

Chip

________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

June 30, 2009

Federal Judge Declares Connecticut Interior Design Law Unconstitutional

New Haven, Conn.—A federal judge today struck down a state law that unconstitutionally censored the free speech of interior designers in Connecticut.

In a thorough, clearly worded 23-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Mark Kravitz systematically considered and rejected each of the state’s arguments in support of the challenged law, a so-called “title act” for interior designers. Title acts are laws that regulate only the speech, but not the work associated with a given occupation. Thus, in Connecticut—as in 46 other states around the country including New York, Massachusetts, and California—anyone may work as an interior with no license or other special government oversight of any kind. But since 1983, Connecticut law has prohibited anyone not registered as an interior designer with the Department of Consumer Protection from referring to himself as an “interior designer,” even when that term accurately describes what he does.

Interior design laws are the product of a decades-long lobbying effort by an elitist group of industry insiders seeking to limit competition by driving other interior designers out of work. That effort, led by the American Society of Interior Designers, is documented in an Institute for Justice study entitled “Designing Cartels.” Another study from IJ called “Designed to Exclude,” released in February 2009, shows that interior design regulations like Connecticut’s not only increase costs for consumers but also disproportionately exclude minorities and older career-switchers from the interior design industry. Both studies are available online: www.ij.org/interiordesign.

“Shortly after I began practicing interior design twenty-five years ago, a woman from the Department of Consumer Protection showed up at my business and ordered me to stop calling myself an interior designer,” said Susan Roberts, one of the three plaintiffs who successfully challenged Connecticut’s interior design law. “That is an outrageous act of censorship on the part of the state, and I am thrilled that I can now tell the world that I am what I have always been since I started doing this work—an interior designer.”

As Judge Kravitz explained in rejecting the state’s legal arguments, “the term ‘interior designer’ is not a term of art and it is not inherently misleading.” Moreover, “[i]f the State were seeking to convey the existence of a regulatory regime in this field, then a term such as ‘licensed interior designer,’ or ‘registered interior designer,’ would far better serve that interest.”

“When it was enacted in 1983, Connecticut’s interior design law represented the cutting edge of a concerted effort to cartelize the interior design industry for the benefit of ASID and its members,” said Clark Neily the Institute for Justice senior attorney who led the successful court challenge. “Along with several grassroots and industry groups, we have brought that campaign to a halt and are systematically dismantling the barriers it has erected to fair competition in the interior design field. We are confident that when the dust settles, consumers in every state will be able to choose the designer whom they think best suits their needs, and interior designers themselves will be free to go as far as their ambition, talent, and dreams will take them.”

This message was sent from Chip Mellor to. It was sent from: Institute for Justice, Institute for Justice 901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900, Arlington, VA 22203. You can modify/update your subscription via the link below.

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July 1, 2009 Posted by | California, Connecticut, Institute for Justice, Massachusetts, New York | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Congratulations! OK Law Amended!

Interior Design Protection Council
Congratulations Oklahoma!
No longer illegal to use title “Interior Designer!”

Celebrate restitution of your Constitutional right!
Members of the Oklahoma design community:

On May 12th, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry signed SB 592 into law. This bill amends the current title act which previously restricted the use of the title “interior designer.”

YOU ARE NOW FREE TO USE THAT TITLE
WHICH ACCURATELY DESCRIBES THE WORK YOU DO!

The amended law will restrict only the title “registered interior designer” to those who qualify under the previously established guidelines.

This bill to amend the “pure” title law was filed in order to avoid defending against the lawsuit filed by the Institute for Justice challenging violation of Oklahoma citizens’ First Amendment rights, which inevitably would have been lost by Oklahoma.

So go ahead, Oklahoma designers — celebrate the freedom you deserve!

Oklahoma’s violation of interior designers’ free speech rights is OVER!

Forward this email

SPIN, DENIAL, OR PLAIN STUPIDITY?

IDPC has received a copy of a May 15th internal IIDA memorandum which attempts to claim victory for the Oklahoma amendment on that basis it amends “their existing law to include the laughingtitle “Registered Interior Designer.”

How utterly absurd to think that any intellegent, informed person would actually believe that.

Restrictions on the title “interior designer,” included in the original law, have been abolished, and in its place — NOT as an additional title to be restricted, is “registered interior designer.”

Hello IIDA! Perhaps you haven’t heard…. IDPC will expose ALL such blatantly untrue and/or misleading statements and provide the design community with the TRUTH!

Bye-Bye Title Laws!
Of the five states that enacted “pure” title acts, i.e. they restricted the use of the terms “interior designer” and “interior design,” New Mexico, Illinois, Texas and Oklahoma have been turned back, allowing designers’ First Amendment rights to be restored.

Only Connecticut’s pure title law remains — but a lawsuit challenging their law was filed by the Institute for Justice in September, 2008, and CT will almost most likely come to realize their indefensible position and join their predecessors in waving the white flag. And we will be only too happy to report that good news when it happens.

Even ASID has their white flag billowing in the breeze — their “new” legislation policy admits the title “interior designer” cannot be restricted and in defeat, have retreated from their goal of securing that title for a very tiny minority of elitist insiders.

Soon, perhaps even by the end of 2009, the United States of America will no longer be a nation that violates ANY interior designers’ rights to accurately describe the services they provide or to use the title which portrays their professional occupation.

STAY TUNED!

This has been an exciting month for our Freedom Movement, but. . .

IT’S NOT OVER YET!!!!

Thank you IJ, for restoring the rights of Oklahoma designers!

But the fight is not over. . .

Oklahoma designers, now it’s your turn to help your colleagues in the rest of the country. Help IDPC put the monopoly effort down for the count by
joining our team!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at info@IDPCinfo.org.

Patti Morrow,
Executive Director
Interior Design Protection Council

IDPC is the only national organization solely dedicated to protecting the rights and livelihoods of ALL designers in our country.
Please support our efforts!
Click here to become a member of IDPC.
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May 18, 2009 Posted by | ASID, IIDA, Institute for Justice | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment