Louisiana judge declares fortune telling free speech

Judge Overturns La. Town’s Fortunetelling Ban – US News and World Report.

A federal judge has struck down a central Louisiana ordinance banning fortunetelling, palm reading, astrology and similar activities in the city of Alexandria.

U.S. District Judge Dee Drell’s ruling Wednesday concurs with a magistrate’s conclusion that the ordinance is unconstitutional.

The city argued the business of fortunetelling is a fraud and inherently deceptive, but U.S. Magistrate James Kirk concluded that fortunetelling is free speech protected by the First Amendment.

Tip: Google News

A similar story came out of Selma, CA where the ban was called unconstitutional. I guess the definition for fraud is in the eye of the beholder.

  3 comments for “Louisiana judge declares fortune telling free speech

  1. Nigel
    July 13, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    It’s Fraud if the psychic knows they have no psychic ability, and they tell the victim they do have a paranormal skill and take money under this false presences. However, if the psychic truly believes they have such powers its not fraud in the generally accepted legal definition. There is no intent.

  2. Donny
    July 14, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    Like it or not, the US Supreme Court says outright lying is free speech.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/us/justices-say-lying-about-military-honors-is-protected.html

    But perhaps, like me, the LA judge doesn’t believe anybody can be coerced into paying a psychic.

  3. Zep
    July 19, 2012 at 2:59 AM

    Really, this sort of stuff is a matter of consumer protection and justice, not a constitutional free speech issue. Surely there is something in most local ordinances about penalties for sale of “unmerchantable goods” and for “failure to deliver services”?

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