After two years and a trip to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, we are pleased to declare victory over a Texas law that had barred interior designers from truthfully telling others that is what they do for a living. On April 22, 2009, the Fifth Circuit handed down a decision that systematically rejected each of the state’s spurious arguments and directed the lower court to immediately enjoin the law pending final resolution of the case. As the Fifth Circuit crisply explained, Texas’ interior design law “prohibits significant truthful speech,” which—and this seems to be news to bureaucrats in the Lone Star State—is blatantly unconstitutional.
Seeing the handwriting on the wall, the state quickly surrendered by amending its interior design law to eliminate the constitutional defect, just as New Mexico and Oklahoma did (and Connecticut is attempting to do) in response to the Institute for Justice’s lawsuits there. The interior design cartel is already making noises about launching a fresh assault on occupational freedom when the Texas Legislature reconvenes in 2011, and we look forward to giving them another drubbing if they do!