I’m sorry, but I don’t get how going topless is a free speech issue. I am an attorney, but apparently a naive one (certainly not a constitutional scholar or practitioner). My concept of “speech” is the conveying of an idea or concept through some sort of medium. Obviously, verbal (spoken or written words) communication is speech, but merely yelling unintelligible sounds is not, because nothing is being conveyed. What does going topless convey? That one has breasts? Or that one is attractive, or (see Helen Thomas photo above) is aging and repulsive?
I occasionally ask young people who are multi-pierced, tattooed, or “uniquely” dressed, why they present themselves as they do. The most common response (ignoring the f*&^ you and “because I want to” responses) is “I am expressing myself.” Fair enough, but what is it that is being expressed? Maybe I am just getting old (50 on Saturday), but I don’t get it. I guess that is just one more thing I don’t get...
Yep, I’m a lawyer too. Basically, they’ve clothed what would be illegal conduct in the mantle of speech, and that apparently gives it a protected status, per our Supreme Court. Logically, if you kill someone and publish photos of the crime in a magazine, it’s protected free speech.
It is sign language (or speech).
Sometimes you lawyers crack me up. You have missed the salient point in this discussion. It is very clear that if they are attractive breasts it is no problem. Unfortunately it is usually females who possess very unattractive breasts who choose to bare them in public. That would then come under ordnances relating to public nuisance or camera abuse as the situation may be. This also should be considered with ordinances relating to spandex abuse at Wal-Mart.:-)
I agree with you. Have you ever wondered why all of these people who want to be unique look so much alike?
Remember the Supreme Court case a few years ago involving a nudie bar in Indiana? Majority opinion said something along the line of "50,000 nude folks in the Hoosier Dome may be sending a message but it's not protected by the US Constitution."