Texas won't appeal federal ruling declaring its African braiding laws unconstitutional

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AUSTIN, Texas — Texas won't appeal a federal judge's ruling last week that state laws regulating businesses teaching African hair braiding were unconstitutional.

In a statement Monday, Department of Licensing and Regulation Executive Director Bill Kuntz said his agency would instead work with lawmakers to eliminate all statewide hair braiding requirements.

Kuntz said that effort would be part of a broader examination of barber and cosmetology statutes meant to "remove unnecessary regulatory burdens."

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks ruled in Austin on Jan. 5 that regulations setting square-footage and equipment standards for hair-braiding schools don't advance public health and safety.

That came after Isis Brantley, a Dallas woman who runs a hair braiding business inside a community center, sued Texas in 2013. She argued regulations affecting her school were unreasonable and unconstitutional.

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