An organization challenging Louisiana’s permit requirements for hair braiders has won a round in state court.
A state judge in Baton Rouge has rejected a move to dismiss the suit filed against the Louisiana Board of Cosmetology by the Virginia-based Institute for Justice.
Jamie Cavanaugh, attorney for the organization, said the judge ruled from the bench Monday.
The organization filed the suit in June on behalf of three practitioners of natural hair braiding techniques practiced widely in African American communities.
The suit says the permit requirements, including 500 hours of training, are onerous and unnecessary.
The board hasn’t commented publicly on the lawsuit and didn’t respond to an emailed query Tuesday. In court, the board denies that the braiders have been denied any constitutional right.
The suit says the board unconstitutionally adopted permit provisions that should be reserved for the Legislature and unconstitutionally let cosmetology schools develop the permit curriculum.
Institute for Justice has had some success at challenging license and permit requirements in Louisiana in the past, and it has challenged hair braiding requirements in other states.
Until last year, eyebrow threading practitioners in Louisiana needed an esthetician’s license, requiring 750 hours of beauty school courses and three licensing exams. After a lawsuit backed by Institute of Justice was filed, the board required only a test and a permit with costs totaling $50.