Michael Cannon thinks the Supreme Court ruling this week again medical licensing requirements in Texas applying to abortion doctors and facilities could “help broaden public understanding about the harmful effects of licensing laws.”

He writes:

Regardless of one’s views on abortion, however, people on both sides of that issue and of all political stripes can now agree states use medical-licensing laws to advance the interests of someone other than the patients those laws purportedly serve. …

All sides should therefore be able to agree on what economists have known for years. When governments impose licensing requirements on professionals or facilities, it is often to benefit someone other than the consumer. In almost all cases, those rules harm consumers by restricting the availability of the regulated services.

Likewise, when North Carolina passed a law similar to Texas’s in 2013, I noticed an awakening to regulation’s ill effects from the Left. It seemed to me, however, that they were quick to compartmentalize it.

As I wrote:

The proposed regulations have produced an epiphany among the political left in North Carolina. Increasing state regulations harms the regulated industry by making it harder and more expensive to conduct its business.

In response, the left has discovered a nascent, this-issue-only libertarianism with respect to regulating abortion clinics. …

One would almost find this welcome suspicion of government regulation from the usual cheerleaders of big government encouraging — but for the fact that the outrage is so highly centered around the single issue of abortion, which is of particular importance to the left. Abortion is no doubt the priority here, as opposed to vociferously pushing the state to adopt a more laissez-faire stance to regulation.

Otherwise, why have there been no protests about North Carolina regulators trying to force the closure of, or restrict access to, outpatient surgery centers?

A 2015 study by economists at Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University estimated that the burden imposed by state red tape and regulations in North Carolina on the private sector in 2015 was up to $25.5 billion. That is for just one year.

Still, there is no similar outcry against those ill effects of red tape and regulations from the local “Bathroom Bill is costing us billions!” Left.