Fourth Circuit Rules On Occupational Licensing Issue

The Fourth Circuit has ruled Charleston, South Carolina’s tour guide licensure program unconstitutional. On June 11, 2020, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a published opinion in Billups v. City of Charleston, No. 19-1044, 2020, U.S. App. LEXIS 18398 (4th Cir. June 11, 2020). The plaintiffs challenged a city licensing requirement for tour guides as “an unconstitutional restriction of their First Amendment right to free speech.” The opinion states that “[t]he [district] court concluded that the City has a significant interest in protecting its tourism industry, but that the Ordinance nevertheless fails intermediate scrutiny because it is not narrowly tailored to serve the City’s interest. As explained below, we agree and therefore affirm.”