Veterinarians Sue Louisiana Board Over Anti-Work Rule
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BATON ROUGE, LA – Two highly qualified veterinarians today filed a lawsuit against the Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine, challenging an arbitrary rule that prohibits them from practicing their profession.
Dr. Lara Stooksbury and Courtney Breen, who had active licenses in other states and over 20 years of combined experience as veterinarians, sought licenses to practice in Louisiana but were blocked by the Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine (“the Board”) because of a restrictive practice time requirement concocted and enforced by the Board. They have filed a petition for declaratory and injunctive relief in the 19th Judicial District Court of Louisiana against the Board and are represented by the Pelican Institute Center for Justice.
“Despite my love for animals, my extensive experience as a veterinarian, and Louisiana’s desperate need for veterinary care, I found myself blocked from practicing my profession due to a restrictive licensing requirement,” Dr. Stooksbury said. “This legal action is a necessary last resort to advocate for changes that are sorely needed to eradicate discrimination and prevent denial of licensure to many qualified veterinarians.”
The veterinarians brought the lawsuit under a new law that allows individuals to contest regulatory barriers to work. Instead of allowing state government to arbitrarily impose regulatory hurdles that prevent professionals in Louisiana from working, this law shifts the burden from the challenger to the licensing agency to justify its rules.
“This lawsuit is the first litigation filed under our state’s new law that makes it easier to challenge bad regulations,” said James Baehr, Special Counsel for the Pelican Institute Center for Justice, “We are proud to represent Dr. Stooksbury and Breen in their fight for the right to pursue their chosen professions.”
Sarah Harbison, General Counsel of the Center for Justice, added, “The Pelican Center for Justice has previously achieved critical court victories, challenging both federal and state overreach in Louisiana and the Fifth Circuit. Through this effort, we are laying the groundwork for continued success in the courts on behalf of Louisiana citizens.”
“Louisiana’s economy is saddled with unnecessary rules that keep hardworking professionals from earning a living in the state,” said Daniel Erspamer, Chief Executive Officer of the Pelican Institute. “Removing those rules and empowering workers is key to Louisiana’s Comeback Agenda. We applaud these courageous veterinarians for standing up for freedom and opportunity. Through the success of this initiative and others to follow, our goal is to transform Louisiana from one of the worst states for occupational licensing to one of the best within the next few years.”
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