Philly Guides Seek Liberty From Licensing Law

Test requirement violates First Amendment, guides argue
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2008 10:40 AM CDT
Three tour guides filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging a city law that will require them to pass a history test and get a license before speaking to groups about the history of Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Justin Maxon)
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(Newser) – Three tour guides in the cradle of democracy are taking the city to court over a law they say tramples on their constitutional rights, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The law compels Philadelphia guides to pay a fee and take a test to get a tour license—and the plaintiffs argue the requirements violate their First Amendment right to free speech.

"The Constitution protects your right to talk for a living, whether you're a stand-up comedian or a tour guide," said a lawyer for the guides. "You cannot punish people for unauthorized talking." The city says the law will ensure visitors get accurate information.