“To bare, or not to bare, that is the question.”
So sums up District Judge Fred Biery’s wit-filled ruling on whether dancers’ right to strip down to pasties is protected by the First Amendment.
The dispute involves a San Antonio ordinance requiring strippers to wear bikini tops — not pasties — unless the club had a special licence.
Judge Biery rejected a challenge to the ordinance from 13 strip clubs, but he did so with a special flair. His ruling was filled with no fewer than a dozen clever double entendres.
Here are the best of them:
— The City of San Antonio wants exotic dancers employed by Plaintiffs to wear larger pieces of fabric to cover more of the female breast. Thus, the age old question before the Court, now with constitutional implications, is: Does size matter?
— Plaintiffs clothe themselves in the First Amendment seeking to provide cover against another alleged naked grab of unconstitutional power.
— Plaintiffs, and by extension their customers, seek an erection of a constitutional wall separating themselves from the regulatory power of the city government.
And that’s just the first two pages.
Though he ruled against the strip clubs, Hunter Stuart of the Huffington Post points out that he didn’t necessarily agree with the city’s argument either — which was that other crimes had a causal relationship with nudity:
Biery then somewhat profoundly concluded that “alcohol, drugs, testosterone, guns and knives are more likely the causative agents than the female breast, proving once again that humans are a peculiar lot.”
“To those who have prayed for my death: Your prayers will someday be answered,” the judge wrote, “as inevitability trumps probability.”
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