Federal Judge Rules for Tarot Card Reader

A federal judge in Tennessee has ruled a local statute unconstitutional that required tarot card readers to issue a disclaimer to customers because it infringes on the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech:

A federal judge struck down a law requiring fortunetellers to post disclaimers on their shops and advertisements, calling the ordinance an unconstitutional restriction on free speech. U.S. District Court Judge Robert Echols, ruling in favor of former tarot card reader Beth Daly and the American Civil Liberties Union, rejected the city of Dickson's argument that its law was intended to protect citizens from fraud. Echols cited earlier rulings that determined "predictions are only fraudulent if the speaker knows of facts that will prevent a prediction from coming true."

Within a month of the shop's opening in July 2002, Daly was told city law banned her from telling fortunes for a fee. She shut down, but pressed ahead with the lawsuit filed by the ACLU. The city repealed its law in 2003, apparently deciding that defending its ban "was not in the cards," Echols noted in a recently filed memorandum. But it replaced the ordinance with a new one requiring fortunetellers to post a disclaimer stating Tennessee has no requirements governing "the education, training or ability of fortunetellers, clairvoyants, palmists, phrenologists or other person claiming to be mystics endowed with supernatural powers." Though the city argued the disclaimer would protect customers from fraud, Echols determined it was an overly broad restriction of freedom of speech.

If you're looking for a deck, this one is our personal favorite. It gives strong emphasis to both the Kabbalah and the astrological signs and planets. We still have our deck from 1971, that we got in Ann Arbor, wrapped in the same silk scarf we bought the same day. Just remember, it's the wise man who rules his stars, and the fool who obeys them.

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