PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia tour guides are fighting licensing rules passed by the city even though the city has no money for enforcement.

A federal judge dismissed the case, not on the merits, but because there’s no threat of enforcement. But the guides appealed, and an appeals court that heard arguments this week is now considering the matter.

The rules would require the guides to get a license and pass a written test if they were being enforced, but the city concedes that it has no money for enforcement and won’t for the foreseeable future.

But the guides appealed the earlier dismissal. Attorney Robert McNamara argues guides shouldn’t have the threat of this unconstitutional law hanging over their heads.

“The city of Philadelphia is not Disneyland, and this is not the haunted mansion. We are talking about private citizens talking to other private citizens about their city’s history and their opinions about it. The government has no business deciding who is and who isn’t able to do that.”

The appeals court has not indicated when it will rule whether the case can be decided, now, on its merits.

Reported By Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio.