Daily Signal: Sold! Tennessee auctioneers score win in occupational licensing case

In the Daily Signal, Sarah Parshall Perry discusses Southeastern Legal Foundation’s victory ending Tennessee’s unconstitutional online auctioneer license scheme. She explains: “Opponents of occupational licensing secured a victory this week in their battle against excessive state regulations that erect barriers to competition in various fields.”

Perry writes:

One of those opponents, who knows full well the burdensome effects of occupational licensing, is Will McLemore. In 2006, he started McLemore Auction Co. as one of the first online auction houses in America.

At that time, most auctioneers practiced only in live auctions, but as the internet has done for so many things, auctioneering began to change. The growth of online shopping resulted in tremendous opportunities for auctioneers.

However, in 2019, the Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation requiring all auctioneers to be licensed. To get a license, auctioneers had to meet requirements so onerous that they kept interested and otherwise qualified entrepreneurs out of the business altogether.

That year, McLemore and other members of the Interstate Auction Association filed an initial complaint against the state of Tennessee.

She continues:

U.S. District Court Judge Eli Richardson granted summary judgment Monday in favor of McLemore and the other auctioneers, ruling that Tennessee’s licensing law violates the dormant commerce clause and therefore is unconstitutional.

Before a state may regulate a business, it must establish that a “substantial nexus” exists between the business and the state. McLemore and the other auctioneers argued, and the judge agreed, that the Tennessee law contains no such geographic limitations.

Read the full article at The Daily Signal.

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