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Update on Oregon’s Moving Company Cartel

I reported last June on the ridiculous case of Adam Sweet, a PSU student who started a moving company only to be shut down by the state because he did not have a “Oregon Intrastate Certificate to Transport Household Goods or Passengers.” (How’s that for bureaucrat-speak?)

Sweet was more outraged when he found out that the state notifies all other moving companies of new license applications, which are denied if any of the companies object. As I noted at the time, this is a shining example of a cartel. Sweet, with assistance from the Pacific Legal Foundation, sued the Oregon Attorney General, claiming the state had violated his 14th Amendment rights by providing β€œan unequal and unconstitutionally protectionist advantage to established moving companies who are able to limit their own prospective competition.”

Well, some good news: On Jan. 21 a federal judge blocked the state’s attempt to throw Sweet’s case out of court. There was also a rally of other small moving companies at the state capitol, and, if Internet comments are to be believed, Oregon Senator Rick Metsger has came out strongly against the moving cartel. From the Oregon Catalyst comment thread on the subject:

I am happy to report that I saw the story when it hit the paper a few months ago and was appalled that state law could allow competitors to decide who can get a moving license. I wrote a bill for my senate transportation committee to eliminate that injustice and will be moving that out of committee and onto the senate floor later this month. Thanks for keeping attention on the issue.

  1. […] National Review has a short article by Kevin D. Williamson in this week’s issue about the sad state of occupational-licensing laws; as an example, it uses the case of Adams Sweet, a PSU student whose moving company was shut down by the state because he didn’t have a “Oregon Intrastate Certificate to Transport Household Goods or Passengers.

  2. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Thanks for the update.

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