Supreme Court ruled today -- Strippers take less off, Leave more on

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri’s controversial limits on strip clubs and adult book stores will stand, after the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that representatives from the adult entertainment community failed to make an effective case that state lawmakers overstepped their bounds.
“While the (adult) businesses attacked and sought to undermine some of (the state’s) evidence, they failed to cast direct doubt on other evidence or the government’s rational,” the court’s ruling reads.

With this ruling, the current law passed in 2010 will be allowed to stand. This includes regulations that prohibit strippers from appearing fully nude or having physical contact with customers, and prevent strip clubs from serving alcohol or staying open after midnight.

The court said its place was not to voice an opinion on the overall wisdom of the legislature’s decision, but to merely evaluate the arguments made by adult entertainment advocates and the state.

The crux of the states argument had been that the state was authorized to place firm limits on sexually oriented businesses because of “negative secondary effects,” most notably in the form of criminal behavior. The court said that the adult entertainment industry did not effectively make the case that the state was acting in the best interest of broader communities when it limited adult entertainment activities.

Judge Laura Denvir Stith wrote the majority opinion for the court, in which she said the adult business leaders’ argument that the failure to hold a financial impact hearing on the bill before it was passed did not create grounds to overturn the legislation.

Adult entertainment business owners have argued that the state’s law unfairly targets their industry and infringes their first amendment rights to free speech and expression.