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Hair Braider Challenges Law Requiring 2,000 Hours of Cosmetology Classes

Posted Apr 28, 2011 6:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Updated: A hair braider in Utah has filed a lawsuit challenging a state law that requires her to complete 2,000 hours of coursework to ply her trade.

The Institute for Justice filed suit on behalf of Jestina Clayton, the Associated Press reports. In a YouTube video, Clayton says she wants to braid hair at home to help buy groceries for her family. She earns about $4,800 a year, but would have to pay an estimated $9,000 to $19,000 to take the classes.

Clayton told AP that the Utah cosmetology classes don’t even include hair braiding lessons. The IJ contends the Constitution protects the right to earn a living without arbitrary and unreasonable government interference, according to the institute’s website. The regulations protect licensed cosmetologists and force consumers to pay more for their services, the IJ says.

The suit was filed in federal court on Tuesday. The Institute has won seven similar challenges.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. to add YouTube video.

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