A Lousiana woman named Rachel Adams applied for a business license. But her type of business was forbidden by the city, and not only was she not given a license, she was issued a summons by the police.
What did she want to do?
She wanted to tell fortunes.
The law said she could not tell fortunes, even if she didn’t charge a fee, since "palmistry, card reading, astrology, fortune-telling, phrenology, mediums or activities of a similar nature" were all illegal.
The government’s argument was that fortune telling was a fraud, and this law prevented fraud.
The judge hearing the case said that just because some fortune tellers were frauds, that didn’t mean that all fortune tellers were frauds. He said there were laws against fraud, so the government could prosecute fortune tellers who were committing fraud.
Plus, how do you know that a fortune teller is telling the truth about the future? You can’t call someone a liar if you don’t know if what they said will become true in the future.
There was also this little matter of her having the freedom to practice a religion, and her right to free speech.
The law was found unconstitutional.
She won her case.
(Thanks to the Law and Magic Blog for the find.)
– Judge Overturns Fortune Telling Ordinance, Law and Magic Blog>>
– Tarot Card Reader Fights City Ban In Court, The Psychic Line>>