Interior Design Protection Consulting

July 23, 2010

Architect-wanna-be’s lament over the interior design Freedom Movement

An architect-wanna-be read our July 20th  post  ASID Blames Child Neglect on Poor Design, and though clearly irritated, could not defend the article; all he could say was something to the effect of, “more bitching and moaning from IDPC.”  Methinks the witty sarcasm of my post went over his head.  We – the interior design community of America – are laughing our collective butts off at yet another opportunity to observe the increasingly irrelevant ASID shoot themselves in the foot!  More to come….I have three whole sections dedicated to ASID in our upcoming August newsletter.

In actuality, all the hand-wringing, sniveling, and desperate tirades are coming from the pro-regulation camp.  The architect-wanna-be admits in another post that he “has disdain” and “wastes  many bytes Grrrr’ing and Arrrrrr’ing about” IDPC and the monumental strides we have made in protecting interior designers’ rights and livelihoods and changing the future of interior design.  Since 2006, we’ve beat back 113 bills which would have expanded or enacted new regulations, and not a single new title or practice act has passed; with the help of our ally, the Institute for Justice, we’ve re-claimed our First Amendment right to the title “interior designer,” because the courts agreed (sorry wanna-be-architects!) that it accurately describes our work.  The architect-wanna-be’s are distressed because the momentum is on the side of design freedom, and they are powerless to stop it.  $7 million lobbying and 30 years of bullying designers to march in lockstep with their elitist and discriminatory agenda down the drain.  Waaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!


May 11, 2010

Interior Design Freedom Movement

Establishing the Freedom Movement

 Not a week goes by that I don’t receive multiple inquiries as to why I became involved in fighting the interior design cartel and how the interior design Freedom Movement started.  I’m not an attorney, not a lobbyist, never wanted to be a political activist.  I’m just an interior designer who couldn’t bear to see the entire interior design industry destroyed.  Yes, interior design is more than decoration, but it’s also more than just being able to read codes.  All designers want their clients to be safe in their spaces, but our opponents’ drive to deny the aesthetic aspects of the profession smacks of lack of confidence in their ability, vision, and creativity.

I now find myself in a totally unforeseen career – educating, organizing and mobilizing grassroots and traveling the country with pink slingshot and pink boxing gloves in tow.

Last month, after sharing my story with a fellow designer, she said, “That’s so inspiring.  You should write a book.”  So after giving it some thought, I decided to craft not a book but instead a short autobiographical documentary which details my motivation, experience, and the pathway to protecting the design community’s rights to earn a living.

It’s been one wild rollercoaster ride, but second only to motherhood, no other endeavor has ever been so gratifying.  I know, we’re not curing cancer or solving world peace, but saving thousands of jobs, well, that’s a good thing.

The Beginnings of the Movement

The Establishing of the Movement

The Future of the Movement

Click here to read entire autobiographical article:

May 4, 2010

10 Organizations Join IDPC Brief to Take Down Unconstitutional Interior Design Law

Freedom Movement Allies Unite to Restore Design Freedom in Florida

The Interior Design Protection Council (IDPC) was joined by ten other interior-design and allied organizations in filing their Amicus (“Friend of the Court”) Brief in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the appeal filed by the Institute for Justice last month.

These like-minded organizations include:

  1. Alabama Decorators, Artists, and Designers
  2. Association of Design Education
  3. Association of Interior Design Professionals
  4. Decorating Den Systems
  5. Designer Society of America
  6. Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association
  7. Interior Design Society
  8. Interior Redesign Industry Specialists
  9. North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers
  10. Real Estate Staging Association

Among other things, these organizations agree with the fundamental principle that interior design regulations have nothing to do with protecting the public and everything to do with protecting industry insiders from fair competition.

“Patti Morrow and IDPC share our views on legislation of the interior design profession,” said Adrian Small, president-elect of the Association of Interior Design Professionals.  “AIDP is committed to actively oppose any existing or proposed legislation that seeks to regulate the ability of interior designers to practice their trade. There is a time when we must join forces with our peers to insure that the voice of the majority of the interior design community is heard.”  Continued Small, “This is that time.”

Natasha Lima-Younts, founder and president of the Designer Society of America, was one of over 600 members of the Florida design community victimized by the Board of Architects and Interior Designers’ ruthless witch hunt.  “We are thrilled to support IDPC in this brief and in funding their important work,” declared Younts.  “Yes, interior design involves creativity and critical thinking, but limiting who can offer interior design services to only a small, self-anointed handful provides no additional public protection, but instead results in fewer choices and higher prices for consumers.”

The Interior Design Protection Council is the only national nonprofit organization exclusively formed to protect the rights and livelihoods of the interior design community.  Founder and director Patti Morrow has been instrumental in beating back over 100 efforts to expand or enact new interior design regulations.  “What is so insidious about a one-size-fits-all regulatory scheme is that it not only negatively impacts interior designers, per se,” said Morrow, “but many other allied and ancillary industries as well.”  Morrow claims that in Florida – Ground Zero in the fight for design freedom – people in more than 20 occupations were disciplined for violating the restrictive, anti-competitive interior design law, including office furniture dealers, restaurant equipment suppliers, workrooms, stagers, various retailers, kitchen designers, remodelers, real estate developers, art and antiques dealers, yacht design, and even a florist.  “It’s time for the sun to set on the Florida interior design cartel!” avowed Morrow.

Also joining the fray are the National Kitchen and Bath Association and the Office Furniture Distributors Association, which each filed their own Amicus Brief.

Click here to read the Amicus Brief of the Interior Design Protection Council et al:

May 3, 2010

IDPC files brief in Florida unconstitutional interior design lawsuit


Institute for Justice/Interior Design Protection Council Join Forces to Take Down Interior Design Cartel

The Interior Design Protection Council (IDPC), joined by ten other interior-design and allied organizations, has filed an Amicus (“Friend of the Court”) Brief in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the appeal filed by the Institute for Justice last month.  At issue is a Florida law that requires a government-issued license to perform commercial interior design work.  Given that there has never been a documented instance of harm from interior design in the 47 states that do not regulate the practice of interior design, it is quite clear that licensing interior designers has nothing to do with protecting the public and everything to do with protecting industry insiders from fair competition.

On February 4th, Federal District Judge Robert L. Hinkle declared unconstitutional the portion of the Florida law that prohibited people without a license from referring to themselves as interior designers, as well as sharply narrowed provisions of the law restricting the practice of interior decorating in commercial buildings by unlicensed persons. “This ruling is an important first step to getting Florida’s unconstitutional interior design laws struck down entirely,” said Clark Neily, senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm that litigates nationwide on behalf of entrepreneurs facing anti-competitive state licensing laws like Florida’s interior design practice act.

IDPC is a nonprofit organization whose sole mission is to protect the rights and livelihoods of interior designers and related occupations, by educating, organizing, and mobilizing grassroots opposition.  Its brief argues that the court’s decision failed to understand that interior design is really a fundamentally expressive activity, compounded that error by ignoring the severe burdens that Florida’s statute imposes, and disregarded conclusive evidence that interior design licensing serves no countervailing public interest.

“Interior design is a dynamic profession that celebrates innovation, creativity and diversity, and consumers directly benefit from the multiple pathways into the field,” said Patti Morrow, founder and director of IDPC.  “Florida’s one-size-fits-all occupational licensing scheme could not be more contrary to those values, and that’s why ten major organizations have signed on to support our brief.”  IDPC is spearheading the movement to resist the efforts of a small, elitist faction of interior designers that is attempting to cartelize the industry through arbitrary and unreasonable occupational licensing laws.  In doing so, IDPC has helped beat back over 100 different attempts to impose or expand restrictions on interior designers around the country in the past four years.

The court of appeals is expected to hear oral arguments in the Florida interior design appeal (Locke v. Shore, No. 10-11052-EE), in 2010 or early 2011.

“The district court’s ruling that Florida’s statute is ‘not subject to First Amendment scrutiny’ because ‘there is a ‘personal nexus’ between the interior designer and the client’ represents a dramatic and unwarranted expansion of the professional speech doctrine,” wrote attorney Robert Kry of Molo Lamken, L.L.P., Washington, DC, author of IDPC’s Amicus Brief.  Kry is among the country’s foremost authorities on the so-called “professional speech” doctrine, which effectively eliminates First Amendment protection for certain kinds of vocation-related speech.  As Kry explains in the IDPC brief, “Where the First Amendment is at stake, proponents of licensure must do more than concoct overwrought hypotheticals about exploding fabric finishes and furniture-placement deathtraps for the disabled. Yet for all their years of trying, that is all those proponents have been able to muster.”

“Arguing that the State’s power to license doctors or lawyers implies a power to license interior designers is like arguing that the State’s power to license motor vehicle operators implies a power to license the press,” continued Kry.  “It makes no sense.”

Click here to read the Amicus Brief of the Interior Design Protection Council et al:

April 17, 2010

Florida interior designer names to be expunged!

“Interior Designer” names to be expunged! 

As you know, over the last several years hundreds of interior designers’ constitutional rights were violated by Florida’s ruthlessly prosecuted interior design law for alleged title violations which prohibited interior designers from truthfully using a title which accurately described the services they were legally performing.

Hundreds of interior designers were disciplined and prosecuted, received Cease & Desist letters and/or fines, and their names were put on the Smith Thompson website where Google and other Internet search engines had a field day, resulting in lost business and damaged reputations.

On February 4, 2010, Judge Robert Hinkle declared that the Florida restrictions on the title “interior designer” and other, unspecified “words to that effect” are unconstitutional and enjoined any enforcement of that provision.

Subsequent to the judge’s decision, IDPC sent a letter to the DBPR requesting that they take prompt, corrective action in instructing the Board and the Smith Thompson law firm to remove the alleged title violation names from their website.

Click here to read IDPC letter to DBPR:

On April 15th, IDPC learned that the Board has agreed to REMOVE these names and has instructed Board prosecutor David Minacci of the Smith Thompson law firm to begin the process.




However, we have not been supplied with a date for completion, and even though Mr. Minacci should have precious little to do for the Board now that he can’t prosecute people for using the title “interior designer” or for providing commercial decorating work (, we have no reason to believe that he will grant this matter the urgency it deserves.


1.  Send an email to Tony Spivey, the Executive Director of the Board of Architecture and Interior Design at and request that the names of alleged title violators be removed immediately! Their constitutional rights were violated — this is a very serious matter that deserves PROMPT action!

  • If you were the recipient of a Cease and Desist, state that up front in your email.
  • Even if you were not disciplined at all, as an outraged citizen and member of the Florida interior design community, you have a right to have your voice heard about a serious matter that impacts your profession and your state.

2.  Copy on the email!  We want to keep track and a paper trail for all emails sent to the Board.  It would be nice if they were honest and up-front about your requests, but frankly, that’s not their M.O.  If they do nothing, IDPC will send a follow-up request on your behalf to the DBPR which will include copies of all your requests to Mr. Spivey.

3.  Forward this email to your colleagues – ESPECIALLY anyone you know who was disciplined for an alleged title violation.

4.  Please support  IDPC’s ongoing efforts to protect the Florida design community’s rights and livelihoods by becoming a member or by making a donation of your choice.  We are a team, and you support enables us to continue to fight on your behalf. Click here for new payment options:

“The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the constitutional rights secure.”    ~Albert Einstein

April 5, 2010

IDPC: Lie Detector – IDAF’s Big Box Misinformation

Lie Detector

Issue #1 – IDAF’s False Information on Big Box Complaints

This issue begins our Lie Detector series, where we will expose the cartel’s deliberate attempts to mislead the design community, students, legislators and the public; we will provide truthful and factual documentation as to why their claims are false.


Historically, the Interior Design Associations Foundation of Florida (IDAF) has disseminated false information; IDPC has consistently invalidated their assertions:

As a direct result of our bringing IDAF’s egregiously false and inflammatory website material to the attention of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations, the IDAF link was removed from the DBPR website Board of Architecture and Interior Design page and no longer recognized as a legitimate resource.  (

Unfortunately, public rebuke has produce neither remorse nor retraction from IDAF, and the flow of misinformation continues, so over the next few weeks, IDPC will, one by one, strike down their falsities and provide the design community with well-supported information.

1.  Big Box Complaint Source

Clark Neily, senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, filed the Locke vs. Shore lawsuit in Florida on behalf of the plaintiffs.  He absolutely, indisputably did NOT file a complaint against Staples, OfficeMax or Office Depot.  In his deposition of David Minacci, prosecutor for the Board of Architecture and Interior Design, he asked him whether it was a “violation” for Staples to offer space planning services on its website without a certificate of authority.  Minacci confirmed that, yes, that is a violation of §481 Fla. Statute.  Neily then followed up with a written Interrogatory showing that OfficeMax and Office Depot were doing the same thing[1]  and asked (1) what actions, if any, the Board had taken with respect to those apparent violations and (2) if not steps had been taken to investigate those apparent violations, why not.  Neily’s inquires merely pointed out the hypocrisy that the Board was not going after large corporations in the same aggressive manner that they were prosecuting small business entrepreneurs.  This is just another example of the disingenuous, deliberate spread of misinformation that has been standard operating procedure on this issue.

See link below to read Interrogatory (No. 22); you can also find the Minacci deposition on the IJ website.[2]  Again, as you will clearly see, all Mr. Neily did was point out that Staples, OfficeMax, and Office Depot are all providing exactly the same kinds of services (including particularly “space planning”) that mom-and-pop office furniture dealers all over the state have been prosecuted for doing.

It’s pure foolishness to consider it to be a crime for Staples to do business in Florida – in exactly the same way as they do in 47 states – and neither Mr. Neily nor IDPC have any complaints about how they do business.  But it is certainly inappropriate for the Board to only pick on folks that can’t fight back, which seems to have been its M.O. until Neily called them out.

Again, no complaint was ever filed by Clark Neily.  Period.

2.  Majority Complaint Origination

The IDPC has obtained a list of all the Board’s investigatory files, and I can tell you that IDAF’s assertion that “most complaints filed against interior designers ” come from building officials, consumers, or clients – is 100% FALSE.

As the current president of IDAF, Janice Young is responsible for insuring that their website contains truthful information; we hereby publically request that Ms. Young:

1.  Provide documentation of a formal request to investigate Staples et al originating from Clark Neily or remove that blatantly false information from the IDAF website.

2.  List the factual basis she has for asserting where the filed complaints originated, including links to the information so that we can confirm what she’s saying is actually true – or remove the blatantly false information from the IDAF website and stop misleading the public.

For frequent updates, be sure to check:

Florida page ( on IDPC website

The Home page ( on IDPC website

The IDPC blog (

[1] Interrogatory No. 22

[2] Minacci deposition

Click here to download a printable copy of this article:

April 2, 2010

Bldg. codes NOT a hindrance for FL interior designers

“Applicable building codes” are NOT a hindrance to performing commercial interior decorating services in Florida

April 2, 2010

As you know, on February 4, 2010 Judge Robert Hinkle declared Florida’s title act unconstitutional and created significant new opportunities for nonlicensees to work in commercial settings.

Shortly after the decision came down, Janice Young, ASID, former president of IDAF, and leading advocate in the (largely unsuccessful) effort to preserve Florida’s anti-competitive and unconstitutional interior design law, began scrambling to limit the ruling by insisting that commercial “decorating” work is still regulated under applicable building codes (§481.203.15, Fla. Stat.) and therefore off-limits to nonlicensees.

“I have read the piece (again and again) and while the Judge says interior decoration can be done without a license in non-residential setting (page 9), the statutes have always qualifies [sic] the items relating to interior decoration as those ‘not subject to regulation under applicable codes.’” (emphasis added)  (February 10, 2010 email from Janice Young to BOAID General Counsel Mary Ellen Clark)

Unfortunately for Ms. Young and the rest of the cartel, it doesn’t look like anybody’s biting. In her 2/8/10 email, Ms. Young asked BOAID prosecutor David Minacci for his opinion.  His reply:

“I think Judge Hinkle’s decisions allow those services defined as “interior decorating” in a commercial setting.  Bottom line, the practice act was saved, but really had the legs taken out from underneath it.”

Documents obtained by IDPC show that Ms. Young met with Jim Schrock, who serves on the Florida Building Commission.  Mr. Schrock further undermined Ms. Young’s attempts to avoid the plain fact that the February 4 court decision opened up substantial opportunities for nonlicensees to perform commercial interior design work in Florida.  Summarizing her conversation with Mr. Schrock about the Florida and Jacksonville building codes in an email to Bragg, et al dated February 18, 2010, Ms. Young notes:

Thus, it appears that the city of Jacksonville does not require a permit for commercial “decorating” and does not require a permit for interior design unless it involves “construction.”

Ms. Young has been pushing for an interpretation of the court decision that allows nonlicensees to provide “interior decorator services” in commercial settings, but only when those services relate to items that are “not subject to regulation under applicable building codes.”  (See §481.203(15), Fla. Stat.).  As her exchange with Mr. Schrock indicates, even that crabbed reading of the court decision (which is mistaken for reasons I have explained elsewhere) opens up substantial opportunities for nonlicensees to perform design work in commercial settings because Florida’s definition of “interior decorator services” is quite broad, encompassing “surface materials, window treatments, wallcoverings, paint, floor coverings, surface-mounted lighting, surface-mounted fixtures, and loose furnishings”—all of which Mr. Schrock indicates will rarely be covered by an “applicable building code” and are thus fair game for nonlicensees, even in commercial settings. .

Click here to read Ms. Young’s entire email account of her meeting with Mr. Schrock:

March 27, 2010

Florida’s Interior Design Licensing Cartel Gets Hung Out to Dry


Spin Cycle

Florida’s Interior Design Licensing Cartel Gets Hung Out to Dry

Load Florida. Set to spin. Press start.

That’s what ASID, IIDA and their Florida-based puppet-coalition, IDAF, are doing to try and wash the truth out of the recent Florida court decision.

In the past several weeks, we have seen concerted efforts to mislead the design community by misrepresenting the recent court ruling in which a judge struck down the title provision of Florida’s interior design law and created significant new opportunities for nonlicensees to work in commercial settings by rewriting the law’s practice restrictions.

That’s supposed to be a “victory” for the pro-regulation cartel?  Sorry ASID, IIDA, and IDAF—that just doesn’t wash.  Here are the FACTS:

1.  Title Restriction Struck Down—Period.

Before the court’s ruling on February 4, 2010, only state-licensed interior designers were allowed to use the terms “interior design,” “interior designer,” “space planning,” and other “words to that effect.”  Federal District Judge Robert Hinkle declared that provision unconstitutional and ordered the state not to enforce it any longer.  How significant was that ruling?

Alleged title violations have always made up the vast majority of enforcement actions brought by the State Board of Architecture and Interior Design under Florida’s interior design law—about 80-90% since 2002.  These cases usually involved a nonlicensee who was lawfully practicing residential interior design (which is specifically exempted from the practice act) and simply advertising that fact, accurately, on their business cards, on their website, or in the yellow pages.  The State Board even went after nonlicensees for being identified—again, accurately—as “interior designers” in newspaper articles and in magazine profiles over which they had no control!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it was a modern-day witch hunt.  Of course, the effect of the title law (the very deliberate effect, I might add) was to make it as difficult as possible for potential clients to identify these unlicensed residential designers.  No Google search for “interior designer” or “space planning” would find them, and they could not be listed under the “interior design” heading in the yellow pages.

But now they can.  The cartel’s censorship of the terms “interior design,” “interior designer,” “space planning,” etc. is OVER.  The public will now be able to find both licensed and unlicensed interior designers in Florida when they go online, or look in the yellow pages, or drive by a designer’s business.

Given the almost single-minded zeal with which the Board has been going after alleged title violations over the past eight years, the significance of that ruling cannot be overstated.  And because the state decided not to file an appeal, that ruling is FINAL.

2.  Florida’s Practice Restriction Judicially Rewritten—Nonlicensees May Now Perform Substantial Work in Commercial Settings.

As written, Florida’s interior design law says you must have a license to perform interior design work—including space plans, designs, consultations, studies, or specifications—in any nonresidential setting.  The sweep of that law is staggering.  Indeed, it is reminiscent of Alabama’s practice act, declared unconstitutional by the Alabama Supreme Court in 2007, which made it a crime for nonlicensees to offer advice about such mundane things as paint colors and throw pillows.

In order to avoid the “substantial constitutional issues” (those are Judge Hinkle’s words, not mine) that arise from a literal reading of the statute, the Board of Architecture and Interior Design abandoned its earlier interpretations of the law and asked the judge to simply rewrite the practice act however he thought necessary in order to uphold it.  The result was an incomprehensible new definition of “interior design” in Florida that no one can understand and that will be virtually impossible for the State Board to enforce.

According to the new definition invented by the Board’s lawyers and the judge, “interior design” in Florida no longer includes spaces plans and other services relating to “stand-alone furniture” (whatever that means exactly—the court decision uses the term but never defines it) in commercial settings and apparently does not include surface materials, window treatments, wall coverings, paint, floor coverings, surface-mounted lighting, or surface-mounted fixtures in commercial settings either.

So what, if anything, remains covered by Florida’s commercial practice restriction?  The only thing that remains covered for sure based on the judge’s ruling is “fixtures,” typically defined as “personal property that is attached to land or a building and that is regarded as an irremovable part of the real property”—things like non-load-bearing walls, ceilings, and HVAC materials.

As to everything else—well, it’s anybody’s guess what remains covered and what does not.  As specifically noted in the court ruling, this pulled-from-thin-air definition of “interior design” represents a new and “limited construction” invented by the State Board’s lawyers “to obtain a favorable ruling in this case.”  Moreover, the judge specifically admonished the State Board that it would not be allowed to “revert to incorrect positions [read: correct but constitutionally problematic] it has taken earlier” and “will not be free in later cases to disavow the limited construction it has successfully advocated here.”

Here is what the Board’s prosecuting attorney David Minacci said in an email to IDAF president Janice Young four days after the ruling came down:

“I do not agree with the Judge’s ruling and I cannot defend it.  All I’m doing is telling you what I think it says.  Bottom line, the practice act was saved but really had the legs cut out from underneath it.”

Does that sound like “victory?”  Hardly.

3.  The Cartel’s “Victory” Celebration Is Not Only Misplaced But Premature.

Besides having precious little to celebrate after seeing the practice act’s “legs cut out from underneath it” in order to save it, the cartel’s victory dance is premature because an appeal has been filed challenging Judge Hinkle’s decision to save even a legless version of Florida’s interior design practice act.

Two important issues on appeal will be the facts that: (1) no one can make heads or tails of the court’s new definition of “interior design”; and (2) besides being incomprehensible, that new definition of “interior design” is utterly unrecognizable to anyone in the industry.  As Brad Powell put it in an article in the February edition of Office Insight Magazine (which ASID ballyhooed to its members in a recent email):

“‘Oh, nooo!’  I hear many say.  ‘The Florida court’s interpretation of interior design does not make any sense, and certainly does not correctly characterize the interior design profession.’  This objection is most certainly correct.”


The Board’s prosecuting attorney David Minacci was even more succinct.  As he said in an email to IDAF president Janice Young one week after the ruling came down:

“I think things are more confusing after this opinion than before.”

Amen again.

And Board Chair Joyce Shore’s reaction when she was told that the Institute for Justice had appealed Judge Hinkle’s decision?

“I am terribly disappointed but I am not surprised.”

Again, does that sound like victory?  As usual, the cartel’s rhetoric is totally at odds with the facts.

So stay tuned, more of the cartel’s dirty laundry will be cleaned.

March 22, 2010

IDPC: Interior design licensing advocate admits long-term plan to regulate YOU out of business!

Copied below is an excerpt of a message received from Florida cartel member, Jan Merle.  Merle admits what we’ve been trying to tell the design community all along, i.e. that ASID and their minions have a patient, long-term agenda to REGULATE YOU OUT OF BUSINESS.  He is referring to a NATIONAL effort, not just Florida.

Read his message and then join our crusade without delay.  Click here to become a member of IDPC and the Freedom Movement:  We can’t stop them without your support!

Note: what is most interesting is that it appears that Mr. Merle just received a degree in interior design in 2009, which seems to indicate he was grandfathered at or shortly after the time the law was enacted.  This is the typical hypocrisy we see time and time again — designers who do not meet the criteria in the proposed law, but are grandfathered in order to squelch their opposition, and once they are inducted into the elitist little club, they are all too willing to lock the door behind them so that no one else can enter.  This is nothing less than consumer fraud!

From Merle:

“IDPC, you and your free-of-charge, politically motivated libertarian legal team won the little battle.  However, as a dedicated, longtime member of the interior design profession (or “Cartel”, as IDPC seems to prefer) I choose to take the long view:

Precisely 100 years ago, the architectural profession in the United States was going through the very same controversial, agonizing, state-by-state licensure process that interior designers are now undergoing. It created quite a stir in California in 1907 when, apparently for the first time, an architect was prosecuted for practicing architecture without a license!

I find it ironic that some of the very same chapters of the American Institute of Architects (with less than 800 members nationally at the time!) who so vociferously fight licensure of interior designers today were the very folks to eagerly promote licensure of their own profession then. Of course, the fact that a large part of San Francisco had recently burned to the ground likely had much to do with the push for architectural licensure then.

Even so, the publishers of the “American Architect” magazine (which later became “Architectural Record”) were comparable to the IDPC and Institute for Justice of 1907. They decried the financially-motivated, exclusionist and entirely unjustified evil of such a “trade-union” tactic as to subject the lofty architect to mere government oversight of any kind.

We now know the end result of that story, and, given sufficient time it will be the same for the profession of interior design — constitutionally protected professional licensure in every state — regardless of what the short-sighted naysayers of this era and their 100 years-too-late anti-government-regulation-at-all-costs lawyers think or do.”

Jan Merle, ASID, Florida Registered Interior Designer ID0000085.   Boca Raton, FL

March 3, 2010

IDPC: “Freedom Reigns in Minnesota!”

As you know, a hearing was held yesterday on SB 2591, a bill which would have expanded the current “Certified Interior Designer” title act into full occupational licensing — and would have become the most restrictive practice law in the country.   Senator Linda Scheid, Chair of the Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection scheduled the hearing based on the proponent’s claim that they had enough votes to pass it out of committee.

Good news, my friends, that did NOT happen!

Due to the large opposition turnout and testimonies, and rather than allow another overwhelming vote to kill the bill, Chair Scheid graciously granted that the bill be “tabled” (according to our sources, at the request of the bill’s sponsor, Senator Dibble), which means the practice act is dead — at least for this year.    Professor Caren Martin testified on behalf of interior designers who support the bill.  You may remember Professor Martin as the author of the failed attempt to discredit Dick Carpenter, Ph.D.’s highly acclaimed and meticulously researched Designing Cartels, and her efforts yesterday met a similar fate.

Click here to read details, including a link to the audio recording of the hearing.

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