Texas Supreme Court To Consider Standard for Economic Freedom Under Rational Basis Test

January 20th, 2014

Tim Sandefur has the report of SCOTX’s upcoming argument in Patel v. Department of Licensing.

The Texas Supreme Court has announced that it will consider the case of Patel v. Department of Licensing, which raises the issue of what the “rational basis” test means under Texas state constitutional law.

Rational basis, of course, is the test that judges use when deciding whether a restriction on economic freedom is constitutional or not. This test is typically biased very heavily in favor of the government, allowing bureaucrats to do practically anything they want when it comes to economic matters or private property rights. But Texas state courts are a little different. They’ve applied a more rigorous kind of legal scrutiny rather than the rubber-stamp, anything-goes rational basis test that is usually applied in today’s federal courts. Pacific Legal Foundation filed this brief back in November urging the Texas Supreme Court to take up this issue and declare once and for all that under state law, the right to earn a living will receive meaningful judicial protection.