Appeals court: rules for city tour guides unconstitutional | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Appeals court: rules for city tour guides unconstitutional

June 11, 2020 - 1:51 PM

RICHMOND, Va. - A federal appeals court has ruled that a South Carolina city's rules requiring tour guides to memorize facts about the city is unconstitutional.

The unanimous ruling Thursday from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond upholds an earlier ruling from a lower court.

A libertarian legal group, the Institute for Justice in Arlington, Virginia, filed the lawsuit on behalf of several would-be tour guides. The group argued it was an unconstitutional restriction on free speech to require tour guides to receive a license to talk to tourists about the city.

The tour guides said they were interested in giving specialized tours and did want to deal with an onerous licensing process that requires applicants to pass a 200-question written test on Charleston’s history, architecture, and historic preservation efforts.

Similar licensing requirements have been struck down in other cities, including Savannah, Georgia and the District of Columbia.

A city spokesman said the city is reviewing the ruling and will decide how to proceed in the coming days.

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

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