ALEXANDRIA, La. (The Blaze/AP) — 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.
Rachel Adams is a fortune-teller who says she accepts donations but doesn’t charge for her services. She sued the city after a police officer issued her a court summons in 2011 for violating the ordinance. A violation can result in daily penalties of up to $500. TheTownTalk.com has more:
[U.S. Magistrate James] Kirk last month recommended that Drell mow down the Alexandria law that bans palmistry, card reading, fortune telling and other otherworldly communications.
“To apply the ordinance literally would outlaw every ‘amateur psychiatrist, parlor sage and barstool philosopher’ in Alexandria who dares to suggest to another what the future may hold,” Kirk wrote last month.
Kirk wrote that a court judgment supporting Alexandria’s ban of fortunetellers “is not in the cards.”
The city argued the business of fortunetelling is a fraud and inherently deceptive, but Kirk concluded that fortunetelling is free speech protected by the First Amendment.
Adams told The Town Talk newspaper last year that she is a fifth-generation psychic.