The clowns in charge forgot that this is the nation‘s capitol.
In Washington, D.C., it is illegal to talk about the monuments or the history of the city if a person pays you to take them around town. That is, unless you pay the government $200 and pass a 100 question multiple-choice exam.
The District requires that all tour guides get a tour operatorâ€™s license, which can be obtained by paying an application fee, a license fee and an exam fee, all of which total $200, and taking the exam. The penalty for failing to do so is up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $300.
That is a risk that Tonia Edwards and Bill Main take daily. The two operate Segs in the City, a tour company that conducts people around the city on Segways. Neither they nor their employees have the required license. And, they have no intention of getting one: On Thursday, Edwards and Main, with the help of Institute for Justice, a libertarian public interest law firm, filed suit against the city.
For Main, Edwards, and IJ, it is an issue of free speech: â€œThe Constitution does not allow the government to be in the business of deciding who is â€” and who is not â€” allowed to speak about various topics.â€ Standing at the U.S. Navy Memorial, across the street from the National Archives where the U.S. Constitution is housed, Robert McNamara, staff attorney at IJ, declared: â€œThat is un-American, that is unconstitutional and we will put a stop to it.â€