A Free Market Victory for El Paso Street Vendors

Competition beat regulation in a big way two weeks ago in El Paso, Texas. Recently, the city made it illegal for mobile food vendors to sell anywhere within 1,000 feet of a restaurant or grocery store. The vendors of El Paso weren’t happy about the business killing regulation, which served to protect the restaurants and grocers from outside competition.

If broken, the law required vendors to pay steep fines and essentially forced them out of business. Four independent mobile food vendors partnered with the Institute for Justice to file a federal lawsuit in the Western District of Texas, El Paso Division, against the city, challenging the Constitutionality of the law’s economic protectionism.

The lawsuit also marked the beginning of the National Street Vending Initiative, an activism platform to ensure the proper rights of street vendors.



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