ATLANTA – The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously decided to overturn unnecessary state licensing requirements to practice occupations.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger applauded the unanimous decision by the Supreme Court of Georgia to overturn the law requiring lactation consultants to obtain State licenses to practice their occupation.
“As a legislator I opposed the law that required lactation consultants be licensed and voted against it. But it passed the legislature and was signed into Georgia law. Upon assuming my duties as Secretary of State, I became the named defendant and was constitutionally obligated to defend it in court,” Raffensperger said. “One of the duties created by taking an oath of office is having to defend laws you may not personally support.”
The Court recognized that the Georgia Constitution protects the “due process right to practice one’s chosen profession free from unreasonable government restrictions.” Because of this right, a “burden on the ability to practice a lawful occupation is only constitutional if it is reasonably necessary to advance an interest in health, safety, or public morals.” The Court held that there was “no substantive evidence of harm identified” that flowed from the unregulated provision of lactation care, and that prohibiting certified lactation consultants from providing lactation care may actually cause “a greater risk of harm because the majority of lactation consultant providers would no longer be able to provide care.”
“Disputes such as these should not result in multi-year lawsuits costing time and taxpayer dollars to arrive at a commonsense solution,” Raffensperger said. “That’s why I have created the GAWorks licensing commission to undertake a comprehensive review of what professions in Georgia are licensed, whether the requirements for licensure are necessary and sufficient, and how to modernize them to keep Georgians working and Georgia’s economy growing. Cutting red tape is my priority.”