UPDATE: Missouri judge considers adult business lawsuit

Thursday, August 26, 2010 | 4:08 p.m. CDT; updated 7:09 p.m. CDT, Sunday, September 26, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — An attorney for a group of sexual businesses wants a Missouri judge to temporarily block new restrictions on strip clubs and adult book stores from taking effect Saturday.

Judge Jon Beetem of Cole County Circuit Court said he hopes to make a decision by Friday.

At issue is a law that keeps new sexually oriented businesses away from homes, schools, churches and parks. It also bans full nudity, alcohol and touching between employees and patrons and requires the businesses to close by midnight.

An attorney for sexual businesses argued Thursday the restrictions violate free speech and expression rights and that legislators violated procedures when passing the law.

A lawyer for the state said similar laws have been upheld elsewhere, and that legislators have the leeway not to follow their own rules.

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