Skip to comments.Judge Declares New State Strip Club Restrictions Unconstitutional
Posted on 08/27/2005 1:44:34 AM PDT by Crackingham
A new state law banning seminude lap dances at Missouri strip clubs was declared unconstitutional by a judge Friday, two days before it was to go into effect. Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan said provisions of the law violate First Amendment protections and state constitutional limits on amending a bill beyond its original purpose.
"The state may not limit persons of majority age from engaging in lawful expressive conduct protected by the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution without a substantial and direct connection to adverse secondary effects, a showing that has not been made," Callahan said in the declaratory judgment.
Under the law, signed in July by Gov. Matt Blunt, seminude lap dances would have been banned and dancers would have had to stay at least 10 feet from each other. Customers would have faced misdemeanor charges for tucking money into a dancers' G-strings, and the minimum age for dancers and customers would have risen from 19 to 21. The adult entertainment industry's attorneys had argued the law violated free-speech and expression rights, and they also said it violated a state constitutional requirement that bills relate to one subject and remain tied to their original purpose.
The bill that included the strip club restrictions initially was labeled as a bill for alcohol-related traffic offenses but was passed under the heading of "crime." The attorney general's office said it was reviewing the judge's decision and didn't yet know what actions it might take.
Joe Spinello, general manager of the Shady Lady Lounge in Kansas City, said the restrictions probably would have forced him to cut staff. He said clubs hurt most by law would be ones that rely on customers and employees who are under 21.
(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
Well, I have only been to a strip club once for a bachelor party but that show certainly said something to me!
Well, Missouri is the Show Me State.
This is not a First Ammendment issue. It's a Fifth Ammendment issue. The reason is because it's the Fifth Ammendment that recognizes the Right to Liberty--and the Right to Liberty is the reason that it's Unconstitutional to criminalize the actions that occur in these night clubs. The Right to Liberty is the right to do whatever does not violate the rights of others.
So. . .bar/w beds next?
Bed, Bar and Beyond. . .coming to your neighborhood, soon.
( . . .are these patrons allowed to smoke. . .after lap dancing?)
There is an expansive view of the First Amendment when it comes to unimportant things like the "self-expression" of dancers in bars but, as you noted, the First Amendment is not seen protect anything important like political speech. Speaking out about an issue or a candidate before an election is an intolerable act of corruption (how dare mere citizens take politics into there own hands), but some nekkid dancer's self-expression is a precious First Amendment right.
That, and the First Amendment is seen as only protecting the counter culture. If an artist uses public funds to make "art" featuring, say, a cross inside a toilet and this "art" is displayed in a public museum, well, this "art" is a precious expression of First Amendment rights that we all must fund through taxes. But let there be, oh, I don't know -- a privately-funded cross on public land in San Diego commemorating war hereos, and suddenly a cross becomes an intolerable violation of the First Amendment.
The Founding Fathers wrote the 1st Ammendment with political speech in mind, not lap dancing.
These judges are out of control.
Ironically, political speech is under great duress in this country. Go to any College or University campus and speak out against Homosexuality, Abortion, or Affirmative Action and see how long you last before you are hauled before a kangaroo court of "Student Administrators" and found guilty of "hate-speech."
Lap dancing is protected free speech? So, therefore we must accept it and move on? I am very confused.
This is not a First Ammendment issue. It's a Fifth Ammendment issue.
So it should cover drug use, shouldn't it? If I want to "express myself" by smoking pot in my home, I should be able to, right? It isn't violating any rights of others. And prostitution should certainly be legal - again, right of "free expression". Two (or more) consenting adults should be able to express themselves any way they want.
Very good point.
I'll take it one step further: The founding fathers wrote the First Amendment with political speech concerning the English Crown in mind,and therefore any speech that doesn't concern the British Crown isn't protected under the First Amendment.
I am with you counselor. Like the interstate commerce clause and the general welfare clause, the free speech right has been stretched far beyond its limits. Even so, if the Campaign Finance Reform act does not violate free speech this misses by a mile.
Only if the friction is too great. I have seen some scorched pants.