Homer W. Giles


Licensing laws have proved to be very effective governmental regulatory devices. Although the supposed purpose of government in requiring a license for a particular activity is to regulate, "by a general formal denial of a right, which is then made individually available by an administrative act of approval, certification, consent or permit," the effect in many cases is actually to prohibit. While government should be permitted to prohibit activities which it regards with disfavor, it should not be permitted to allow an administrative agency to deprive a person of a license for a business or occupation, otherwise lawful, without giving that person an opportunity to challenge the appropriateness of the order of the administrative body in a proceeding before a properly constituted judicial court. Yet that has been the practice in many states, and was the law in Ohio, in some instances, prior to the passage of the Ohio Administrative Procedure Act. In some states it has even been held that revocation of a license may be effected without notice or hearing.