La. flower shop owner sues over exam

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 4, 2010

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A New Orleans woman who owns a flower shop is challenging a state law that requires retail florists to pass a licensing exam.

Monique Chauvin and two of her employees at Mitch’s Flowers filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain and other members of the state Horticulture Commission. Louisiana is believed to be the only state in the nation that requires retail florists to pass a licensing exam.

Chauvin claims the licensing exam is overly subjective and is administered by florists who have an interest in reducing competition.

Chauvin’s lawyers are from the Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm that already has unsuccessfully challenged the florist licensing law. A federal judge dismissed a similar suit in 2005.