Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Whenever I mention to students that some courts have held that “nude dancing” businesses receive some first amendment protection, I get back snickers and looks of disbelief. I then quickly add that not everyone agrees with this conclusion. Last Friday, however, a state appellate court held that a state tax of $5 per customer on “sexually oriented businesses” (with the humorous acronym of “SOB”) violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. I also stress to students that courts in some states (New Jersey comes to mind) tend to create more intrusive land use rules than do other states. But this SOB ruling comes from the Court of Appeals of Texas. The tax (imposed in 2007) is at Texas Business & Commercial Code § 47.052(a). The ruling is Combs v. Texas Entertainment Ass’n, No. 03-08-00213-CV (Tex. Ct. App. June 5, 2009). The Court of Appeals of Texas concluded that the tax was a “content-based” regulation of “expressive conduct,” which is treated as “speech.” This entitled the challenger to “strict scrutiny,” which the government conceded was a standard it couldn’t meet.
[Comments must be approved and thus take some time to appear online.]
This blog is an Amazon affiliate. Help support Land Use Prof Blog by making purchases through Amazon links on this site at no cost to you.
- Katherine Dentzman on A Coordinated Approach to Food Safety and Land Use Law at the Urban Fringe
- Jesse Richardson on Local Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing
- Jamie Baker Roskie on Local Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing
- Samuel on Schleicher and Rauch on local regulation of the sharing economy
- Timothy Wayne George on Is Reed v. Town of Gilbert an important sign case?
- Water Down Under: A Report from Australia by Barb Cosens: Post 2: Comparative Water Law: Australia and the western United States or Conversations with Claire
- APA Planning & Law Division's Smith-Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition now accepting entries
- Jan 30 - Boston U Law - The Iron Triangle of Food Policy - AJLM Symposium
- "Basic Human Right" to Farm Your Lawn?
- CFP: Fordham Law: Sharing Economy, Sharing City: Urban Law and the New Economy