Economic Liberty
First Amendment
Occupational Licensing
Occupational Speech
Tour Guides

D.C. Tour Guides Oral Argument

  • IJ joined with Tonia Edwards and Bill Main, the owners and operators of a Segway tour company, to challenge a District of Columbia law that made it illegal for anyone to give a tour of the city for compensation without first passing a test and obtaining a special license—quite literally, a license to describe.
  • The District argued the tour guide test was necessary to ensure quality. IJ argued this attempt to improve the quality of public discourse—by silencing speakers of which it disapproved—was blatantly unconstitutional. Tour guides, and many other people nationwide, earn a living by talking, and the First Amendment protects their right to do so without a license.
  • In June 2014, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously struck down the District’s testing regime for tour guides.
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Attorney Who Argued The Hearing

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