Lap Dances: Between "Freedom Of Speech" And "Or Of The Press"

Sunday, August 28, 2005

I guess we now know where this judge likes to spend his free time when he's not inventing new constitutional rights:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- 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.
As someone who supports whatever one wants to do with his or her body, I must concede that exchanging money for stripping naked and grinding on a customer's crotch is hardly a fundamental right granted by our forefathers. Apparently the judge sees it differently, so boys and girls, let's review the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Yep, pretty sure the act of stripping naked and grinding on a customer's crotch in a strip club is a loose interpretation of "freedom of speech," just as stripping naked and grinding on a customer's crotch in a restaurant would be.