Charleston tour guide case poses another First Amendment test

Tour guides in Charleston won one and lost one in federal court as Judge David Norton refused to dismiss the case but denied the guides a preliminary injunction against the city’s licensing policy. The guides are suing to prevent the city from administering a test to certify guides, a requirement that the guides claim would violate their free speech rights. (Charleston City Paper, July 5, 2016, by Dustin Waters)

Noah Feldman, Bloomberg News, July 12, 2016, argues that the Supreme Court case of 2015 Reed v. Town of  Gilbert may well apply in the Charleston case. The Court ruled that if a town passes a law restricting speech it had to show a compelling interest for the town and support that interest with a narrowly tailored law. Given that ruling, Feldman doubts that the Charleston law would survive.