State Supreme Court Finally Rules: Strip Club "Pole Tax" Doesn't Violate First Amendment
In an email headlined "A sad day for all Texans," a law-practicing Friend of Unfair Park forwards along a just-posted opinion from the state Supremes, who have decided that the state Legislature's so-called "pole tax," which collects $5 from each admission paid to a topless joint and directs those dollars toward victims of sexual assault, is constitutional after all. Gentleman's club owners, such as The Lodge's Dawn Rizos, have insisted since the law went into effect in '07 that the tax more or less says their business are to blame for violence against women; hence, the First Amendment violation alleged in court proceeding after court proceeding.
But the justices are sending this back to trial court for further proceedings. Why? Well, for starters:
The fee in this case is clearly directed, not at expression in nude dancing, but at the secondary effects of nude dancing when alcohol is being consumed. An adult entertainment business can avoid the fee altogether simply by not allowing alcohol to be consumed. For these reasons, we conclude that the fee is not intended to suppress expression in nude dancing.
Read Justice Nathan L. Hecht's opinion after the jump, after you leave a dollar. Sexiest ruling ever.
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