Powers v. Harris

December 1, 2004 • Legal Briefs

Cato’s brief, joined by the Pacific Legal foundation, examines the question of whether the protection of specific interest groups against economic competition, in the absence of any public health or safety concerns, constitutes a legitimate state interest. While states have the right to regulate economic activity whose outcome is “rationally related to a legitimate government interest,” defining a “legitimate government interest” remains a point of contention. The brief argues that the Court has an opportunity to resolve a conflict among the Fourth, Sixth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits on this issue. Indeed, the “right to earn a living” is fundamental and thus protected by the Due Process Clause.

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