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July 29 2014

New Orleans Tour Guide Licensing Law Upheld

"New Orleans tour guides will continue to undergo criminal background checks and drug testing in order to ply their trade after a federal appeals court upheld the city's licensing system. Four tour guides sought to strike the licensing law on First Amendment grounds, arguing they were unconstitutionally prevented from talking to visitors about New Orleans history without a permit. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected those arguments. The court said the licensing requirements serve a compelling interest: to protect the city's thriving tourism industry by ensuring its tour guides are not criminals or drug addicts and that they are ""knowledgeable about the city and trustworthy."""