Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Government Licensing Gone Wild: Institute for Justice Fights for Tour Guides in New Orleans
"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 (see video above)."