To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Texas Stripper "Pole Tax" Scraped

A totally awesome state district court judge in Austin (where else in Texas?) has thrown out a $5 per person state tax on patrons of strip clubs, arguing it violates the First Amendment. Yee-ha.

According to the Dallas Morning News the backers of the tax aren't giving up yet though:

Attorney General Greg Abbott, representing the state, plans to "vigorously appeal" the ruling, a spokesman said. And at least one Dallas club owner said she's not ready to go out and celebrate.

"The rest of them are ready to throw a big party, but I don't think this is over," said Dawn Rizos, who owns the Lodge, an upscale Dallas club. "They're going to rewrite it, and eventually it will pass."

Officials with the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, which helped craft the measure, said they are very disappointed by the decision but intend to rework the bill when lawmakers return to Austin in January.

"This is not the end of the adult entertainment fee or of our goal of providing comprehensive sexual assault-related services to Texans," spokeswoman Karen Amacker said.

There weirdest part of the story is that the judge's ruling turned in part on ... whether stripping was responsible for dancers not having health insurance:

Supporters saw a glimmer of hope in Judge Jenkins' ruling. His judgment indicates the bill was too broad. While he was convinced that there was a logical connection between adult clubs and funding sexual assault services, he didn't buy it for funding health insurance.

"There is no evidence that combining alcohol with nude erotic dancing causes dancers to be uninsured, that any dancer is in fact uninsured, or that any uninsured dancer could qualify for assistance from the fund," he said.

Ah, the finer points of legal theory always elude me.

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