Missouri Supreme Court upholds strict strip-club law

The highest court in the state upholds strip-club regulations.

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Looks like its currents for nudity at Missouri strip clubs.
  • Looks like it's curtains for nudity at Missouri strip clubs.
It's a sad day for Missouri breast seekers. The state Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the state law passed last year putting severe restrictions on strip clubs didn't violate the First Amendment or the state constitution. So, for now, strippers will have to remain somewhat clothed, and clubs will close at midnight and not serve booze.

The court decided that the law, which also disallows contact between dancers and customers, "didn't ban sexually oriented businesses of any type," the Star reports. "Rather, it seeks to reduce negative secondary effects associated with such businesses, including detrimental health and sanitary conditions, prostitution and drug-related crimes both inside and outside these locations, as well as deterioration of the surrounding neighborhoods," the ruling said.

The ruling is the latest setback for the nude-club industry. Last year, The Pitch wrote exhaustively about former state Sen. Matt Bartle's war on exposed dancers. Owners were concerned that dancers would leave the state, and suddenly Kansas looked to club owners like a lawless land of flaunted areolas.

Dick Bryant, attorney for the club owners who sued over the law, told the Associated Press, "We believe the decision is a major erosion of rights of free expression afforded under the constitutions of Missouri and the United States."

The club owners are now considering taking their case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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