Video: Will court throw out law aimed at “unauthorized talking”?

posted at 2:15 pm on January 7, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The Institute for Justice updates followers on its efforts to overturn a licensing law in Philadelphia that requires tour operators to seek approval from the city for their operations through a separate license from the normal business licensing requirements.  We covered IJ’s efforts to expose this government overreach in Washington DC four months ago, but now the first test case will be heard by a federal appellate court.  The question will be whether a state or local government can create what is, in essence, a license to communicate with other people in light of the First Amendment:

There could be an argument that says the First Amendment exists to protect political speech, but in practice that distinction evaporated decades ago.  When communities tried to ban strip joints, courts held that people had a right to get naked in public based on the First Amendment in what is clearly a commercial context.  However, courts have allowed zoning laws to keep such establishments in particular areas and away from schools and churches, at least thus far and when reasonably crafted, and some states also restrict liquor licenses based on the level of nudity allowed in the clubs (California, for instance).  They don’t, however, require a license specific to staging nudity.

This will be an interesting case to follow.  The imposition of licensing is usually prefaced on the need to keep consumers from being defrauded, but mainly they serve as barriers to entry for smaller operators in any field while protecting the larger players.  The tour-guide industry could police itself through voluntary associations that require particular types of expertise, training, and consumer protection rather than have the government impose that through unnecessary — but revenue-producing — licensing regimes.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Shut up, they explained.

iurockhead on January 7, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Just ask for donations when you’re talking about the nation’s history.
Operate your tours on donations.
For instance, my husband, who took a vet course many years ago, PGs (preg tests) cows for people.
A vet charges something like $5/head.
My husband is not technically legally allowed to charge.
He lets the owner give him a fair price, whatever that person determines, & usually the going rate is anywhere from $1.25-$2 or so/head.
Not sure if it’d work in this case, but it’s a thought.

Badger40 on January 7, 2011 at 2:20 PM

The tour-guide industry could police itself through voluntary associations that require particular types of expertise, training, and consumer protection rather than have the government impose that through unnecessary — but revenue-producing — licensing regimes.

Follow the money.

gryphon202 on January 7, 2011 at 2:20 PM

The imposition of licensing is usually prefaced on the need to keep consumers from being defrauded,

How do you defraud someone as a tour guide?

Rocks on January 7, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Something else to chew on.
If they’re gonna prohibit these people from speaking without some sort of license, then why don’t they force public speakers, like politicians, i.e. Bill Clinton etc., to get a public speaking license?

Badger40 on January 7, 2011 at 2:22 PM

The imposition of licensing is usually prefaced on the need to keep consumers from being defrauded,
How do you defraud someone as a tour guide?

Rocks on January 7, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Internet licenses.
Look at all of the lies & misinfomration & propaganda out there.
If you have a need, check out the vaccine thread.

Badger40 on January 7, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Flashback: Philly requiring bloggers to pay $300 for a business license

steebo77 on January 7, 2011 at 2:24 PM

How do you defraud someone as a tour guide?

Rocks on January 7, 2011 at 2:21 PM

I don’t know…something like, “And here’s the stop where Ben Franklin used to catch the Main Line.”

steebo77 on January 7, 2011 at 2:25 PM

The imposition of licensing is usually prefaced on the need to keep consumers from being defrauded, but mainly they serve as barriers to entry for smaller operators in any field while protecting the larger players.

Well, in fields that legitimately need to be licensed, that’s not a generally fair statement. I think most professional licensing is not cost-prohibitive, and it’s priced into the fees those licensed professionals charge. Engineering license fees, for example, are quite modest. I suspect there are very few qualified individuals who wish to enter a licensed field who find themselves unable to do so based on the price of the licensing fee alone.

TexasDan on January 7, 2011 at 2:27 PM

How do you defraud someone as a tour guide?

Rocks on January 7, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Make stuff up?

TexasDan on January 7, 2011 at 2:29 PM

I don’t know…something like, “And here’s the stop where Ben Franklin used to catch the Main Line.”

steebo77 on January 7, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Then I am guessing all those Tours of the Stars tour guides in S.Cal are frauds.
I have also noticed a lto of teachers are frauds, too.
I have sat in classrooms where teachers lie, either bcs they are ignorant, stupid, or have an agenda.
How ’bout let’s all have to buy a truth license.

Badger40 on January 7, 2011 at 2:32 PM

The tour-guide industry could police itself through voluntary associations that require particular types of expertise, training, and consumer protection rather than have the government impose that through unnecessary — but revenue-producing — licensing regimes.

Are you kidding? The tour guide/tour companies are some of the sleaziest around. They’ll lie, cheat and steal just to keep their businesses going. Just look at what they did to “Trip Advisor”.

I could write a book on my adventures with crappy, uninformed tour guides.

Knucklehead on January 7, 2011 at 2:33 PM

How do you defraud someone as a tour guide?

Rocks on January 7, 2011 at 2:21 PM

You point at the capital and tell your visitors that the smartest people in the world are in there!

Moose Dung on January 7, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Oops. Forgot television.
Like the Nature program I watched the other night shilling still about how DDT almost wiped out the bald eagle populations here in the US when it certainly did no such thing.
Maybe they could buy a propaganda license in order to legally distribute propaganda.
We could open a new govt agency, the Ministry of Truth, so that all printed & spoken information could be labeled appropriately.
Bcs after all, it has been shown to be true that many people are just way too stupid to know what is tru & what is not.

Badger40 on January 7, 2011 at 2:35 PM

How ’bout let’s all have to buy a truth license.

Badger40 on January 7, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Truth Panels!!!

steebo77 on January 7, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Well, in fields that legitimately need to be licensed, that’s not a generally fair statement. I think most professional licensing is not cost-prohibitive, and it’s priced into the fees those licensed professionals charge. Engineering license fees, for example, are quite modest. I suspect there are very few qualified individuals who wish to enter a licensed field who find themselves unable to do so based on the price of the licensing fee alone.

TexasDan on January 7, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Licensing in the commercial truck industry is prohibitive.
Our one license plate for our semi for one years here in ND (which is probably cheap according to some states) is $1600.
That does not include quarterly road taxes.
And that is for just driving in one state.
If you want to drive in other states, you need a special license (i.e. sticker) from them each year.

Badger40 on January 7, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Here’s you some unauthorized talking.

You’re welcome.

hillbillyjim on January 7, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Truth Panels!!!

steebo77 on January 7, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Count it!

Badger40 on January 7, 2011 at 2:38 PM

People have spare money to pay tour guides?

WashJeff on January 7, 2011 at 2:39 PM

People have spare money to pay tour guides?

WashJeff on January 7, 2011 at 2:39 PM

I think they usually just throw small change at them.

steebo77 on January 7, 2011 at 2:42 PM

With all of the super Google graduates, how could anyone get stuff wrong?!/

Badger40 on January 7, 2011 at 2:43 PM

OMG!!!

Allahpundit said nudity.

….and didn’t even mention robots!

It’s the end of the world as we know it.

hillbillyjim on January 7, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Oh yeah,

and I feel fine.

hillbillyjim on January 7, 2011 at 2:46 PM

With all of the super Google graduates, how could anyone get stuff wrong?!/

Badger40 on January 7, 2011 at 2:43 PM

You would be amazed how stupid some of them are. They are scripted and if you ask them a question that’s not on that script, they look at you like your nuts.

Case in point…When I went to Hawaii a couple years ago with a tour group, I asked if the tour guide could arrange for me to go and see “Shangri-La”, Doris Dukes vacation home/now museum.

The tour guide said “who’s that”?

Knucklehead on January 7, 2011 at 2:49 PM

I think they usually just throw small change at them.

steebo77 on January 7, 2011 at 2:42 PM

To hurt and mame? Or as a tip? ;-)

WashJeff on January 7, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Knuck, so how did your visit to the IL legislator go?

You would be amazed how stupid some of them are. They are scripted and if you ask them a question that’s not on that script, they look at you like your nuts.

Knucklehead on January 7, 2011 at 2:49 PM

WashJeff on January 7, 2011 at 2:51 PM

To hurt and mame? Or as a tip? ;-)

WashJeff on January 7, 2011 at 2:49 PM

The former, of course. We’re talking about Philly, right?

steebo77 on January 7, 2011 at 2:51 PM

WashJeff on January 7, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Don’t get me started. Another buck for a pack of smokes? I might as well move to Indiana and get it over with.

Knucklehead on January 7, 2011 at 2:58 PM

You would be amazed how stupid some of them are. They are scripted and if you ask them a question that’s not on that script, they look at you like your nuts.

Case in point…When I went to Hawaii a couple years ago with a tour group, I asked if the tour guide could arrange for me to go and see “Shangri-La”, Doris Dukes vacation home/now museum.

The tour guide said “who’s that”?

Knucklehead on January 7, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Kinda like my students today when they had to do a formal informative presentation on anything related to climate change.
I asked a kid something pointed & he just stared at me blankly.

Badger40 on January 7, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Don’t get me started. Another buck for a pack of smokes? I might as well move to Indiana and get it over with.

Knucklehead on January 7, 2011 at 2:58 PM

The scuttlebutt is state legislators want to impose a $2 tax on cigs & smokeless tobacco here in ND.
Legislators were polled recently here & they say no.
My husband, the Copenhagen Junkie, breathed a sigh of relief.

Badger40 on January 7, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Smart conservative women are just sexy… check this chick out

Nearly Nobody on January 7, 2011 at 3:02 PM

The imposition of licensing is usually prefaced on the need to keep consumers from being defrauded, but mainly they serve as barriers to entry for smaller operators in any field while protecting the larger players.

You mean like owner-operators who’d like to lease Hawaiin homes for less than a 30-day period at a time?

BuckeyeSam on January 7, 2011 at 3:02 PM

So we’re sittin there, on the bench marked ‘Group W’, and they ask me, ‘what were you arrested for?’, and I said, ‘talking without a license’…..and they all moved away from me on the bench there, until I said, ‘and creating a nuisance’, and they all came, shook my hand, and we had a great time there on the bench. . .

Skandia Recluse on January 7, 2011 at 3:06 PM

How do you defraud someone as a tour guide?

Rocks on January 7, 2011 at 2:21 PM

I don’t know…something like, “And here’s the stop where Ben Franklin used to catch the Main Line.”

steebo77 on January 7, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Tour guides can be quite amusing when you know something about the place on tour. The Newport Harbor Tour is notorious among the locals for the line of bull its guides feed the tourists. They tell a history of Orange County and SoCal that’s complete fiction. I’ve been on that tour many times and counted at least five different homes that were pointed out as Shirley Temple’s childhood digs.

SukieTawdry on January 7, 2011 at 3:11 PM

I asked a kid something pointed & he just stared at me blankly.

Badger40 on January 7, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Don’t get me started on the blank stare stuff, I’d rather have that than some dumb worthless answer. Me to Pompeii tour guide “Can you please point me in the direction of the House of the Vettii” ………..tour guide “I’ve never heard of it”. It’s only one of most important structures at Pompeii, but this airhead never heard of it.

And for this I pay money?

Knucklehead on January 7, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Don’t get me started. Another buck for a pack of smokes? I might as well move to Indiana and get it over with.

Knucklehead on January 7, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Something weird MAY be going on. They did not vote on it today and will not return until Sunday. I expect they are going to get a lot of calls in the next 48 hours against this. And wednesday is when the new sessions starts with less Democrats, but still in control.

WashJeff on January 7, 2011 at 3:13 PM

And for this I pay money?

Knucklehead on January 7, 2011 at 3:11 PM

My wish is to go to Ireland & Scotland, to visit & do some genealogy work.
I love history & read it voraciously & I know there is no way I could ever pay for a tour guide to tell me anything about anywhere.
I get PO’d enough watching all the lies on TV, what do I want to pay someone to give them to me for!

Badger40 on January 7, 2011 at 3:17 PM

My wish is to go to Ireland & Scotland, to visit & do some genealogy work.
I love history & read it voraciously & I know there is no way I could ever pay for a tour guide to tell me anything about anywhere.
I get PO’d enough watching all the lies on TV, what do I want to pay someone to give them to me for!

Badger40 on January 7, 2011 at 3:17 PM

I haven’t been there yet, but I did go to Prague in November without any tour company’s or guides. It was liberating not to be pushed and shoved around by tour guides.

Rick Steve’s books are worth every penny regardless of his wacky political views. Don’t leave home without him.

Knucklehead on January 7, 2011 at 3:24 PM

I saw your pics on FB. They were wonderful.
I would just love to be able to see stuff that old.
Living here in ND & the W. in general, you just don’t see anything that’s ‘old’, other than fossils & arrowheads.

Badger40 on January 7, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Badger40 on January 7, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Thanks, I haven’t even got a fraction of them up there yet and I’ve already got a bunch of trips lined up for this spring. I sail through the Panama Canal in a couple weeks.

Knucklehead on January 7, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Follow the MONEY!

GarandFan on January 7, 2011 at 5:34 PM

How do you defraud someone as a tour guide?

Rocks on January 7, 2011 at 2:21 PM

If there’s a way, somebody will figure it out. I have faith in human nature.

abcurtis on January 8, 2011 at 10:13 AM