The Right to Earn a Living: Girl Scout Cookies Edition

August 17th, 2011

It seems that some people are not too happy with cute little Girl Scouts selling cookies:

In Hazelwood, Mo., Carolyn Mills and her daughters, Abigail, 14, and Caitlin, 16, have sold Girl Scout cookies from their driveway for years. But after a neighbor complained that the cookie stand created too much traffic and was causing dogs to bark, city officials told the Millses that selling cookies there violated the city’s zoning code.

Hazelwood officials say scouts are allowed to sell cookies in the city but must go door to door or set up at a place like a grocery store parking lot (with the store’s permission). So while the front yard snack stand is one American tradition, the lawsuit is another. The girls urged the family to sue, and it did. The Mills family and Kevin O’Keefe, Hazelwood’s city attorney, discuss.

Of course they sue! Here is the complaint. Plaintiffs seek declaratory judgment and injunctive relief about an improper application of the City Code.

Count II seeks a declaration of a deprivation of liberty and property without due process of law under the 14th Amendment!

…Defendant has used and is using its legislative and enforcement powers to deny the Mills family their liberty and their rights to use their private property for a harmless activity….

The Defendants’ cookie stand prohibition does not serve any legitimate government interest and is without any rational basis related to the public health, safety, and welfare.

Yeah, good luck with that.

The right to earn a living is perhaps best explained with these lemonade and girlscout cases. Favorable plaintiffs I suppose.

For more on my blogging on states shutting down lemonade stands and the like, see here, here, here, and here.,