by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
George Will discusses the issue at stake in the Connecticut teeth whiteners’ dispute:
The case concerns a minor economic activity, teeth whitening, but a major principle: Can a state limit Americans’ opportunities by restricting access to particular professions for no reason other than the enrichment of people entrenched in those professions?
Readers will recall that last year the Supreme Court has that the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners violated federal antitrust laws by ordering teeth whiteners without dental licenses to cease and desist.
The ruling alerted policymakers in North Carolina to the inherent anticompetitive nature of licensing boards. This is a state whose Constitution, in its very first article, recognizes as self-evident the right of all people to “the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor.”
For that reason, I have promoted voluntary certification over state licensure. Here is a chart comparing the two: