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Do Your Job: Judicial Review of Occupational Licensing in the Face of Economic Protectionism

Posted by on Saturday, October 7, 2017 in Notes, Volume 70, Volume 70, Number 5.

Do Your Job


Despite efforts to challenge certain occupational licensing schemes as impermissibly driven by naked economic protectionism, federal appellate courts disagree on the legitimacy owed to the protectionist motivations that commonly prompt these regulations. To eliminate the current confusion, this Note advocates for the application of rational-basis-with-judicial-engagement review. The Supreme Court has demonstrated a willingness to engage in such analysis before—in both its animus jurisprudence over the past decades and more recently in its meticulous cost-benefit inquiry in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt—thereby weakening its claims of incompetence in evaluating the motivations of lawmakers. To avoid hindering the economic wellbeing of all Americans, the Court should do its job in order to protect your right to do yours.

Nicole A. Weeks
J.D. Candidate, 2018, Vanderbilt University Law School; B.A., 2011, University of Massachusetts–Boston