Recent economic liberty op-eds

February 27, 2017 | By CALEB TROTTER

In case you missed them on PLF’s various social media sites, we had three op-eds published on a number of economic liberty topics this month in newspapers in North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Idaho.

The Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota published my piece explaining why it’s time for North Dakota’s occupational license for music therapists to go. As I explain in the article, North Dakota was the first state to license music therapists back in 2011, and the license imposes severely burdensome requirements on prospective therapists without any actual evidence that the burdens are necessary to protect the public. Furthermore, there is no longer any approved in-state educational program, so prospective therapists must now leave the state to obtain their required training.

In Oklahoma, the Oklahoma City Journal Record published a piece by Anastasia Boden and myself responding to the paper’s editorial about our lawsuit on behalf of renowned American Indian artist Peggy Fontenot. Our article points out why in addition to violating the First Amendment, Oklahoma’s law that prohibits everyone but members of federally recognized tribes from marketing and describing their art as American Indian-made also violates the Supremacy Clause because it is preempted by federal law.

Finally, Idaho’s Twin Falls Times-News published my op-ed urging Idaho lawmakers to reject the latest attempt to create an occupational license for sign language interpreters. Because existing voluntary certification programs (particularly for courtroom and medical interpreters) already provide an avenue for ensuring that the deaf and hard-of-hearing can find qualified interpreters, creating a licensing scheme only adds red tape and costs to entering the profession.