"If the judges interpret the laws themselves, and suffer none else to interpret, they may easily make, of the laws, [a shredded] shipman's hose!" - King James I of England, around 1616.

“No class of the community ought to be allowed freer scope in the expression or publication of opinions as to the capacity, impartiality or integrity of judges than members of the bar. They have the best opportunities of observing and forming a correct judgment. They are in constant attendance on the courts. Hundreds of those who are called on to vote never enter a court-house, or if they do, it is only at intervals as jurors, witnesses or parties. To say that an attorney can only act or speak on this subject under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of his profession and livelihood by the very judge or judges whom he may consider it his duty to attack and expose, is a position too monstrous to be entertained for a moment under our present system,” Justice Sharwood in Ex Parte Steinman and Hensel, 95 Pa 220, 238-39 (1880).

“This case illustrates to me the serious consequences to the Bar itself of not affording the full protections of the First Amendment to its applicants for admission. For this record shows that [the rejected attorney candidate] has many of the qualities that are needed in the American Bar. It shows not only that [the rejected attorney candidate] has followed a high moral, ethical and patriotic course in all of the activities of his life, but also that he combines these more common virtues with the uncommon virtue of courage to stand by his principles at any cost.

It is such men as these who have most greatly honored the profession of the law. The legal profession will lose much of its nobility and its glory if it is not constantly replenished with lawyers like these. To force the Bar to become a group of thoroughly orthodox, time-serving, government-fearing individuals is to humiliate and degrade it.” In Re Anastaplo, 18 Ill. 2d 182, 163 N.E.2d 429 (1959), cert. granted, 362 U.S. 968 (1960), affirmed over strong dissent, 366 U.S. 82 (1961), Justice Black, Chief Justice Douglas and Justice Brennan, dissenting.

" I do not believe that the practice of law is a "privilege" which empowers Government to deny lawyers their constitutional rights. The mere fact that a lawyer has important responsibilities in society does not require or even permit the State to deprive him of those protections of freedom set out in the Bill of Rights for the precise purpose of insuring the independence of the individual against the Government and those acting for the Government”. Lathrop v Donohue, 367 US 820 (1961), Justice Black, dissenting.

"The legal profession must take great care not to emulate the many occupational groups that have managed to convert licensure from a sharp weapon of public defense into blunt instrument of self-enrichment". Walter Gellhorn, "The Abuse of Occupational Licensing", University of Chicago Law Review, Volume 44 Issue 1, September of 1976.

“Because the law requires that judges no matter how corrupt, who do not act in the clear absence of jurisdiction while performing a judicial act, are immune from suit, former Judge Ciavarella will escape liability for the vast majority of his conduct in this action. This is, to be sure, against the popular will, but it is the very oath which he is alleged to have so indecently, cavalierly, baselessly and willfully violated for personal gain that requires this Court to find him immune from suit”, District Judge A. Richard Caputo in H.T., et al, v. Ciavarella, Jr, et al, Case No. 3:09-cv-00286-ARC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Document 336, page 18, November 20, 2009. This is about judges who were sentencing kids to juvenile detention for kickbacks.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Occupational licensing hurts the U.S. economy - opting-out provisions to occupational licensing for individual consumers and their chosen providers are the easiest way to solve the problem

In July of 2015, the U.S. President's Department of the Treasury Office of Economic Policy, together with the Council of Economic Advisers, and the Department of Labor,  published a report regarding the state of occupational licensing in the United States.  

The report paints a very scary picture of what occupational licensing does to the economy of the U.S. and to people's livelihoods.   I encourage my readers to read the report in full, it is quite interesting.

I especially encourage supporters of Bernie Sanders to read this report.   Senator Sanders claims he will create jobs for average Americans if elected president.  I do not know how he will fulfill that promise when over 25% (and, by other sources, over 30%) of the U.S. job force is regulated by state governments, over which the President has no control.

Here is a very illustrative paragraph from the report:

 So, the federal government practically openly acknowledges that occupational licensing of professions by states which is always declared to be done in order to protect consumers of services, but is in reality lobbied by those same professions as a measure to restrict competition and keep prices of services higher than they are worth in a free market, in reality hurts the U.S. economy, hurts people and prevents them from having an ability to properly provide for their families and from obtaining services they need at affordable prices.

I wonder when the federal government will go further than stating the problem and what it will do to address it. 

I already wrote in this blog about my position as a consumer of services that are licensed by the government:  as a competent adult, I have a right of free choice of service providers for my personal use and for the use by my household and family.

If the government wants to give me help in verifying qualifications and quality of work of such providers, I have a right to say to the government - no, thank you, I do not need your help.   

And, the government certainly has no right to punish me with a criminal record for "aiding and abetting" or "soliciting" "unauthorized practice" of a licensed profession because I rejected the government's help.

The opting-out provisions for individual consumers and their chosen providers to occupational licensing may undo this problem of the U.S. economy, and quite easily.   And, such opting-out provisions will not hurt consumers who want occupational licensing to remain in place.  People will simply have a choice - to go with a licensed or with an unlicensed provider, to accept or to reject help in verifying quality of services by the government.

It is very simple.  When you are offered help, you can say - "no, thank you, I'll manage on my own".  Even if the helper is the government.

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