Tour Guides

D.C. Cant Require Tour Guides to Pass a Test

segway

Author: Christina Davis
September 17, 2014

Tour guides no longer have to pass a test and pay a fee to lead visitors around the District of Columbia.

This morning, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that requiring Segway sight-seeing tour guides to pay the $200 fee and pass a test violated the First Amendment.

Segs in the City, a small Washington, D.C., sightseeing business, filed suit against the D.C. licensing scheme, which required guides to pass a multiple-choice test and pay a $200 fee to become certified or face possible civil and criminal penalties. The exam covers "the applicant's knowledge of buildings and points of historical and general interest in the District."

Tonia Edwards and Bill Main, owners of Segs in the City, sued in federal court, arguing this scheme violated the First Amendment. "This is an argument of principle, not of economics," said Main, who hails from Australia. But there is an economic angle as well: Occupational licensure laws serve as barriers to entry for new businesses and thus tend to discourage employment and limit consumer choice.

After their lawsuit failed at the district court level, Edwards and Main appealed, and the D.C. Circuit today ruled in their favor,, holding that the record was "utterly devoid" of evidence either that D.C. has a problem with ill-informed tour guides or that the test did anything to protect the D.C. economy from the dangers of uninformed tour guides.

 

Works Cited

Edwards, Tonia and Main, Bill. "United States Court of Appeals
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT. No. 13-7063." June 27, 2014.
<http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/0/E585CD5E522FBE9585257D04004F7891/$file/13-7063-1499657.pdf>.

Rodgers, Jenny. "Segways, tourists, D.C., and the First Amendment:
Inside the legal fight over licensing tour guides." July 19, 2014.
<http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/44572/rolling-papers-segways-tourists-dc-and-the-first-amendment/>.

News

UD Announces 2018 Distinguished Alumni

The University of Dallas has announced the recipients of the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award -- the highest honor the university can bestow on its alumni. The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have demonstrated sustained and distinguished accomplishments and contributions to any field of human endeavor.

+ Read More

UD in the Community: Lamberti's Carries On Tradition

Its connection to UD helps the alumnus-owned Lamberti's fulfill its three pillars: local, tradition and famiglia. Lamberti's was the vendor for this year's Groundhog "Party in the Park" celebration; additionally, Lamberti's is looking into carrying Due Santi Rosso wine from UD's own vineyard on the Eugene Constantin Campus.

+ Read More

University of Dallas Dedicates Cardinal Farrell Hall -- Its New 'Front Door'

The University of Dallas community gathered on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, for the formal blessing and opening of Cardinal Farrell Hall, named after our former bishop of Dallas, previous chancellor and longtime friend of the university, Kevin Cardinal Farrell. The opening of the new student-focused building marks the completion of one of several capital projects, a part of a broader institutional effort to transform the university's Irving campus.

+ Read More