Columns

Flower Vendors, Stand Up. Libertarians Sue Hialeah.

A new group of lawyers is taking the side of Hialeah street vendors. The Institute for Justice is suing the city of Hialeah today on behalf of the mobile sales folk, saying the city's regulations are too tough.

This is a little bizarre, considering you probably see more guys vendiendo todo in the City of Progress than almost anywhere else on the North American continent. But what the hell! We love the flower vendors. We also love arepa vendors. The guys who sell those weird straw hats on street corners? Not so much.

The Institute for Justice has previously whacked Miami for being the hardest place to land a job in America. The have also sued Louisiana on behalf of monks to end a casket monopoly. No, I am not making this up.

The group was founded 20 years ago by a guy named David Kennedy, who thought conservatives needed a voice in the legal system. And they have truly taken on shibboleths of their own movement, drawing attack from the National Review for an op-ed arguing that there isn't too much judicial activism.

The Hialeah lawsuit, which should be filed momentarily, argues against the constitutionality of a law that prohibits vendors from selling near other stores that peddle the same thing.

Go libertarians! Though maybe you should add an exception for palm-braided straw hats.

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Chuck Strouse is the former editor in chief of Miami New Times. He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes and won dozens of other awards. He is an honors graduate of Brown University and has worked at newspapers including the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times.
Contact: Chuck Strouse