Press Release from the Beacon Center of Tennessee, June 26, 2019:
New Beacon Lawsuit Looks To Reverse Unconstitutional Law Limiting Free Speech
Today, the Beacon Center’s legal arm filed its latest lawsuit against a law passed in the 2019 Legislative Session by the General Assembly.
The law would force most online auctioneers to be licensed by the state of Tennessee while exempting big online auction sites like Ebay. This law is not just unfair but is also unconstitutional, as it clearly violates the First Amendment. Beacon is suing the Tennessee Auctioneer Commission before the law takes effect on July 1st.
Beacon Vice President of Legal Affairs Braden Boucek stated, “Online auctions have not required a license for over a decade. Tennessee shouldn’t impose one now. Online auctions are a safe and reliable business innovation that has blossomed free from licensure while protecting consumers.
“The state has no business applying its outdated licensing regime just to accommodate auctioneers who wish to hamstring the ingenuity of online auctioneers.” Boucek continued, “This law is not just unconstitutional, but it is bad policy. Tennessee will be chasing good employers out of the state. Employers like ‘Everything but the House’ have already left the state over this archaic approach to licensing and this is another step in the wrong direction. We should not be trying to license the internet.”
Jacquie Denny cofounded the online auction service, “Everything But the House,” in 2008.
After growing to 15 locations nationally, a decision was made by the executive team to “reset” the business model to better serve its clients, which meant investing in the locations that had the most potential for growth.
With pending legislation for rulings that would not be in the best interest of producing the maximum monetary results for the families served by the business, the decision was made not to invest in further growth in Tennessee.
“We love Tennessee, but the regulations put on online auctions would not make our business investment worthwhile,” Jacquie noted. “We’d love to open our doors if it made sense for us, but right now in Tennessee, the harmful regulations are keeping our business out of the state.”
The Beacon Center is proud to stand with business owners like Jacquie to ensure that Tennessee’s laws don’t put unconstitutional limits on businesses.
The Beacon Center of Tennessee empowers Tennesseans to reclaim control of their lives, so that they can freely pursue their version of the American Dream. The Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and independent organization dedicated to providing concerned citizens and public leaders with expert empirical research and timely free market solutions to public policy issues in Tennessee.