The Buckeye Institute in Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court: Ever-Growing Administrative State Violates Civil Liberties and Causes Undue Economic Harm

Oct 07, 2019

Columbus, OH – On Monday, The Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief in Ricks v. Idaho Contractors Board calling on the United States Supreme Court to protect citizens’ civil liberties and to strike down laws that create unnecessary impediments to employment.

In Ricks v. Idaho, the Idaho Contractors Board denied George Ricks a contractor’s license because he, for religious reasons, refused to use his social security number to identify himself. Mr. Ricks offered other methods of government identification, such as a birth certificate, but was denied that accommodation. The lower courts held that the state licensing board had no duty to accommodate Mr. Ricks reasonable request.

In its brief, The Buckeye Institute argues that although the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Employment Division v. Smith said that the “protection of free exercise rights of religious minorities was properly left to ‘the political process,’” the court did not foresee the dramatic growth of the administrative state, which has taken lawmaking out of “the political process” and put it in the hands of unelected government officials. Buckeye argues that the ever-growing maze of bureaucratic regulations and laws, created outside of the legislative process, violates civil liberties and, in Mr. Ricks’ case, cause undue economic harm.

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