Sides dealt setback in free-speech lawsuit

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A federal judge has dealt both sides a setback in a free-speech challenge to a tour-guide licensing ordinance in historic Charleston.

U.S. District Judge David Norton has issued an order that allows the city to still enforce the ordinance, but it denies a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed. The judge last week set a January trial date.

Three would-be guides have sued, saying they shouldn’t have to pass a test and get a license to earn a living as tour guides. The city contends that it’s a lawful business regulation.

The lawsuit is similar to free-speech cases that have been heard in other cities.

The Charleston ordinance requires guides to pass a 200-question test to receive a license.


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