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University of Baltimore Law Review

Abstract

If you are a beer-lover visiting Washington, D.C., you might want to check out “DC Brew Tours,” a “beer tour company in the Capital region that offers daily brewery tours to Washington’s best breweries, brewpubs, and bars.” As you would expect, the tour includes samples of beer from a number of local craft breweries, as well as information about how each beer is made. What you might not expect, however, is that, until very recently, DC Brew tour guides were legally obligated to pass a written exam about the history of D.C., a topic which has little to do with the art of brewing craft beer, in order to obtain a license before providing any paid tours. When you think about the First Amendment and about those figures who helped challenge and shape First Amendment jurisprudence throughout history, who do you think of? Young men burning their draft cards, newspapers challenging prior restraint, students wearing armbands in protest, and, of course, tour guides. Yes, you read that correctly, tour guides. The freedom of speech is “America’s favorite freedom,” so when a law or a case erodes that freedom, it is important to pay attention.

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