Since the New Deal, courts have applied the extremely permissive "rational basis" test: If legislatures articulate almost any reasons for regulating, courts will defer to them. This has given a patina of high principle to the judiciary's dereliction of its duty to prevent individuals' liberty from being sacrificed to groups' rent-seeking. Laws like the one silencing Cooksey are primarily rent seeking. They are written to enhance the prestige and prosperity of a profession by restricting competition that would result from easy entry into it, or from provision of alternatives to its services.
People, being opinionated mammals, have been dispensing advice to one another since the advent of language, and have been foisting dietary opinions since cavemen weighed the relative benefits of eating woolly mammoths or saber-toothed tigers. So IJ has two questions for North Carolina and for the judicial system:
Did Ann Landers and Dear Abby conduct 50-year crime sprees by offering unlicensed psychological advice? Is personal advice as constitutionally unprotected as child pornography? If so, since a 2010 Supreme Court opinion, it is less protected expression than videos of animals being tortured.
George Will's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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