Ever since the development of the guild system the small tradesman or shopkeeper has attempted in various ways to reduce the number of his competitors. The time-honored method, in theory at least, has been to give better service for less money. The more modern method is to select a delegation from the trade itself whose duty it will be to proceed to the state capitol, there to urge the passage of "protective legislation." As a result, legislators have found themselves beseiged by lobbyists who show altruistic concern for the health, safety, and welfare of the general public. Strangely enough, the lawmakers are told that the public can be adequately protected only by legislation which in turn protects this particular lobbyist's trade or occupation. In those instances where these small pressure groups have succeeded, the protection afforded invariably takes the form of a state board or commission with power to exclude newcomers from entering the field.

The purpose of this comment is to examine the attitude of state courts toward such legislation and especially to inquire whether the trend toward this type of petty bureauracy is being curbed by the judiciary. Minimum attention will be given to laws which are solely regulatory, nor will supervision incident only to revenue purposes be considered. The subject may be presented most conveniently by a consideration, first, of the type of factual situation involved in recent legislation and litigation, and secondly, of the constitutional basis upon which such laws are held valid or invalid by the courts.