New Mexico Ends "Unconstitutional Censorship" of Interior Designers

June 1, 2007

In a controversial decision, the State of New Mexico recently eliminated an "unconstitutional restriction" on the free speech of interior designers by amending legislation that prohibited many interior designers from truthfully advertising their services. Senate Bill 535, signed into law by Governor Bill Richardson on April 3, was introduced in response to a federal lawsuit brought by the Institute for Justice in September 2006 on behalf of two New Mexico interior designers who were forbidden from accurately advertising their services because they did not hold what amounts to a "free speech license" from the New Mexico Interior Design Board. The challenged law allowed anyone to work as an interior designer but made it a crime for people not licensed by the Board to use the terms "interior design" and "interior designer." The new legislation permits anyone who practices interior design to use the terminology, but creates a new category called "licensed interior designer" for those who meet certain credentials. More information can be found on the home page of the Institute for Justice:

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