InstituteForJustice on Dec 12, 2011
In New Orleans, it is a crime to charge people for a talking tour without first getting permission from the government.
City officials require every tour guide to pass a history exam, undergo a drug test and an FBI criminal background check every two years merely for speaking. People who give tours without a license face fines up to $300 per occurrence and five months in jail.
The First Amendment does not allow the government to be in the business of deciding who is-and who is not-allowed to speak about various topics. That is why four New Orleans tour guides have joined with the Institute for Justice in a federal lawsuit seeking to secure their free speech rights.
Vindicating this principle will help protect the rights of countless people across the country that speak for a living-whether they speak as news reporters, stand-up comedians or tour guides. This lawsuit was filed on December 13, 2011, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.