Right to drive?
The right of the citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, either by carriage or by automobile, is not a mere privilege which a city may prohibit at will, but a common right which he has under the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Thompson v. Smith, 154 S.E. 579, 155 Va. 367 (Va. 09/12/1930).
The holding doesn't remotely support the argument it's being used for (which is no surprise). The case involved the city having an ordinance which gave the chief of police the power to revoke a person's permit to drive in that city. Mr. Thompson had the required permit to drive his car and police chief, Smith, revoked it under a provision in the city code that gave him basically the unfettered discretion to do so.
With regard to the right of the government to require licensing or permits to drive, what the Virginia Supreme Court held was "The regulation of the exercise of the right to drive a private automobile on the streets of the city may be accomplished in part by the city by granting, refusing, and revoking, under rules of general application, permits to drive an automobile on its streets; but such permits may not be arbitrarily refused or revoked, or permitted to be held by some and refused to other of like qualifications, under like circumstances and conditions." At 378.
Miller v Reed
In Dixon v. Love, 431 U.S. 105, 112-16, 97 S.Ct. 1723, 52 L.Ed.2d 172 (1977), the Supreme Court held that a state could summarily suspend or revoke the license of a motorist who had been repeatedly convicted of traffic offenses with due process satisfied by a full administrative hearing available only after the suspension or revocation had taken place. The Court conspicuously did not afford the possession of a driver's license the weight of a fundamental right. See also Mackey v. Montrym, 443 U.S. 1, 10, 99 S.Ct. 2612, 61 L.Ed.2d 321 (1979); Bell v. Burson, 402 U.S. 535, 539, 542-43, 91 S.Ct. 1586, 29 L.Ed.2d 90 (1971).
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The Supreme Court has recognized a fundamental right to interstate travel. Attorney General of New York v. Soto-Lopez, 476 U.S. 898, 903, 106 S.Ct. 2317, 90 L.Ed.2d 899 (1986) (Brennan, J., plurality opinion). Burdens placed on travel generally, such as gasoline taxes, or minor burdens impacting interstate travel, such as toll roads, do not constitute a violation of that right, however. See Kansas v. United States, 16 F.3d 436, 442 (D.C.Cir.1994)
We have previously held that burdens on a single mode of transportation do not implicate the right to interstate travel. See Monarch Travel Servs., Inc. v. Associated Cultural Clubs, Inc., 466 F.2d 552, 554 (9th Cir.1972) (“A rich man can choose to drive a limousine; a poor man may have to walk. The poor man's lack of choice in his mode of travel may be unfortunate, but it is not unconstitutional. ”); City of Houston v. FAA, 679 F.2d 1184, 1198 (5th Cir.1982) (“At most, [the air carrier plaintiffs'] argument reduces to the feeble claim that passengers have a constitutional right to the most convenient form of travel. That notion, as any experienced traveler can attest, finds no support whatsoever in [the Supreme Court's right of interstate travel jurisprudence] or in the airlines' own schedules.”).