JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Attorney General's Office is backing off its defense of soon-to-be outdated requirements that hair braiders be licensed as cosmetologists.

Attorney General Josh Hawley on Wednesday said the state is waiving its response in a U.S. Supreme Court lawsuit against the requirements. He says the case will be irrelevant once a new Missouri law takes effect Aug. 28 to end licensure requirements.

Professional hair braiders have long complained that the expensive licensing is not needed to braid hair. Lawmakers this year scrapped the requirement, instead requiring braiders to watch an instructional video and register.

Institute for Justice Attorney Dan Alban represents the Missouri braiders who sued and says they're glad the Attorney General's Office "came to their senses." He hopes the cosmetology board will implement the law.

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