TODAY'S QUESTION: Is the strip club law constitutional?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 | 12:28 p.m. CDT; updated 1:10 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A new Missouri law targeting adult businesses came into effect Friday. The law prohibits:

  • Full nudity and alcohol in adult businesses.
  • Touching between semi-nude employees and patrons.
  • Anyone younger than 18 from entering an adult business.
  • Opening adult businesses near homes, schools, day cares, churches, libraries, parks or other sexually-oriented businesses. The law also requires adult businesses to close from midnight to 6 a.m.

Adult business owners filed a lawsuit in August to prevent the law from taking effect, but a Cole County judge rejected it.

The business owners said in the lawsuit that the regulations would violate the First Amendment and cause them irreparable harm.

What do you think? Is the new strip club law constitutional?

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Carlos Sanchez September 2, 2010 | 8:18 a.m.

Is this being looked at and put into place as a moral issue or is it a land based issue on how somebody can use their property? I can see the religious factors in the decision but then you have property owner/renter rights. What about the Constitutionalists? What do they say on the matter as this is quite controversial for them too having to decide which side of the fence they stand on. Do they stand on the religious moral side and abandon the Constitution or do they value the right to do what you want to on your property and abandon the moral values of the issue. The question is though is there a middle ground? Then too with the loss of hours less tax dollars for the cities and the state too where these shops are located has to be factored in. Interesting.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 2, 2010 | 8:57 a.m.

Duh Carlos, what side do you think the "Constitutionalists" stand on? Principles, not pandering. Pandering is for Republicans.

(Report Comment)
Carlos Sanchez September 2, 2010 | 11:08 a.m.

@John Schultz but what kind of principles because Constitutionalists say the same thing over Marijuana too. Saying you stand on principles could be anything.

(Report Comment)
Michael Vaughn September 2, 2010 | 12:22 p.m.

I am 47 years old what kind of state is this when you can't even make up your own mind on where you want to go or what you want to see as an adult? Where is the difference in tax revenue gonna come from with the lose of these businesses. Are you going to start taxing churches now to make up for this lose? I am not working to pay for someones bills because we live in a start that has its head shoved up it behind. Better yet let the dumb people who voted for this pay these businesses the lose of revenue that they have cost them and well as the jobs you have taken away from so many!!!

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 2, 2010 | 3:30 p.m.

Carlos, what are you talking about? Libertarians believe that you should be able to do what you want on your own private property, so long as your conduct does not harm anyone. That includes smoking marijuana (but not driving afterwards, nor stealing to support the habit) or running a strip club (or a babysitting venture). That doesn't mean Libertarians (and please drop your invented Constitutionalist label) believe you should do those activities, only that government has no right policing your harmless activity on your own property. In America, you're free to fail (unless Congress wants to give you bailout money) or make bad decisions.

(Report Comment)
Carlos Sanchez September 2, 2010 | 5:04 p.m.

@John Schultz you still fail in all of your babble to answer the direct question. Do the Constitutionalists side on the side of the Adult Industry in being able to run their business' 24/7 as you say on their property or do the Constitutionalists side on the Moral/Religious side of indecency here and barring a business owner from doing as they feel is right for their business. You really cannot straddle the fence as you will get splinters where you do not want them. It is all about freedoms right? So which is it? The right to freedom of expression or the state's right to shut down that freedom of expression.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 2, 2010 | 5:59 p.m.

Good God, do you have a problem comprehending simple language? Read the comment I left above your babble; your question is clearly answered. The club owners own the property, employees show up on their own free will, no patrons are forced to endure a lapdance or enter an adult store. The bars in Columbia have a greater affect on social "issues" than the clubs and stores.

If you can't figure it out, the problem lies between your keyboard and chair.

(Report Comment)
Allan Sharrock September 2, 2010 | 6:22 p.m.

Carlos reminds me a lot of Charles Dudley. Carlos do you know him?

(Report Comment)
Carlos Sanchez September 2, 2010 | 6:36 p.m.

@John Schultz so you are saying that it is morally ok for these types of establishments to remain open 24/7 as long as they are not hurting you or your own personal agenda is the way I take your stance.

Now we have the question of state mandated regulations that seem to go along with the states reserving the rights to govern themselves as they see fit to which this industry in question says is non constitutional as it effects their freedom of expression.

There is no straddling the fence on this issue as I said. These are the kinds of issues that are splitting this country in half and worse. It is just like the Marijuana issue too.

What gets me though is the Republicans and the Democrats either come down on one side or the other but most all Libertarians straddle the fence. This is not going to win Libertarians hearts and minds plus any points to boost them more into becoming a political flavor of the future. Why straddle the fence and fail to gain supporters as the Libertarians are always seeking and trying to convince the nation their agenda is the best.

Madness sheer madness. The only real thing I see out of the Libertarian Party if they ever got into any real seats of power is them throwing lots of citizens under the bus with their agenda. Seriously a double group of politicians will always be divided on all issues no matter how good they make it sound.

(Report Comment)
Carlos Sanchez September 2, 2010 | 8:09 p.m.

@Allan Sharrock Carlos reminds me a lot of Charles Dudley. Carlos do you know him?

Do you really know him?

(Report Comment)
Allan Sharrock September 2, 2010 | 8:28 p.m.

A little. Why?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 2, 2010 | 11:32 p.m.

Carlos, you seem to have a peculiar idea of fence sitting when I have explained the libertarian position on property rights multiple times. You try to reword it to make it sound immoral, then complain about fence-sitting after saying you understand the position I've mentioned. Either you're intentionally misrepresenting the position or you're not following the logic.

(Report Comment)
Carlos Sanchez September 3, 2010 | 5:24 a.m.

@John Schultz I just see Libertarians as straddling the fence when it comes to the Morality vs, the Constitution. Just my view and it always has been. Lots I talk to feel the same way.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 3, 2010 | 9:19 a.m.

Carlos, Libertarians believe that morality is something people choose for themselves, not something forced upon the people by the government. The Constitution imposes no morality on US citizens.

You might do well to read the party's platform sometime, it's not as overly long as the D's or R's:

Here are a few planks that are relevant to this discussion:

1.0 Personal Liberty

Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government. Our support of an individual's right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices.

1.1 Expression and Communication

We support full freedom of expression and oppose government censorship, regulation or control of communications media and technology. We favor the freedom to engage in or abstain from any religious activities that do not violate the rights of others. We oppose government actions which either aid or attack any religion.

2.0 Economic Liberty

Libertarians want all members of society to have abundant opportunities to achieve economic
success. A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner. Each
person has the right to offer goods and services to others on the free market. The only proper role of
government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a
legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute
wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society.

2.1 Property and Contract

Property rights are entitled to the same protection as all other human rights. The owners of property have the full right to control, use, dispose of, or in any manner enjoy, their property without interference, until and unless the exercise of their control infringes the valid rights of others. We oppose all controls on wages, prices, rents, profits, production, and interest rates. We advocate the repeal of all laws banning or restricting the advertising of prices, products, or services. We oppose all violations of the right to private property, liberty of contract, and freedom of trade. The right to trade includes the right not to trade — for any reasons whatsoever. Where property, including land, has been taken from its rightful owners by the government or private action in violation of individual rights, we favor restitution to the rightful owners.

(Report Comment)

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