Thursday, June 7, 2007

Houston Sex Ordinance on Hold Again...

I'm back from my busiest weekend of the year, rested, and getting back on the horse, so to speak.

Just before I left, the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals enacted a stay on Houston's sexually oriented businesses ordinance, pending the appeal of a number of strip clubs and adult video stores.

The good news is that it was stayed. This isn't saying much, though. Stays are more or less automatic in any case where enforcement of a law will harm the defendants and where the law may not be constitutional. If the Fifth Circuit had failed to stay the ordinance, THAT would have been news: it would have been a clear signal that the judges already believed the law was constitutional and that the defendants' appeal would fail.

The bad news is that the Fifth Circuit is considered by many to be the most conservative Federal appeals bench in the nation... even more so than the Eleventh Circuit, which ruled repeatedly that the Alabama law banning the sale of dildoes and vibrators was constitutional.

So, for the time being, my fellow smut peddlers down in Houston are safe... but the clouds still lurk on the horizon...

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