June 26, 2013

St. Louis license requirement has street performers singing the blues

By St. Louis license requirement has street performers singing the blues

The Missouri Watchdog had this article yesterday about the lawsuit challenging St. Louis’ requirement that street performers audition before a city official before they can get licenses to perform. We filed a friend of the court brief arguing that the law is unconstitutionally vague even aside from its obvious First Amendment problems. From the article:

The fee and audition ran afoul of constitutional protections for “expressive activity,” according to the ACLU’s complaint.

A second civil liberties group, the California-based Pacific Legal Foundation, joined the lawsuit this month, arguing the subjective nature of the auditions violated the right to earn an honest living.

“The audition requirement allows a government bureaucrat unlimited power to choose when to allow a person to earn a living as a street performer — without any guidelines or limits or criteria or anything,” Tim Sandefur, an attorney at PLF, told Missouri Watchdog in an email.

Read the rest…

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