Supreme Court hears strip club appeal

The state Supreme Court has heard arguments in the appeal of the strip club fee lawsuit.

Lower courts have sided with the strip clubs, ruling that the fee that has collected more than $13.6 million since 2008 is an unconstitutional regulation of free expression.

The law specifically applies to strip clubs that sell alcohol. Texas Solicitor General James Ho told the nine Republican justices that the fee is justified, since the state could already impose bans on both.

“It would be turning the First Amendment on its head to say that you can criminalize but can’t impose a modest regulation,” Ho said.

The court is not expected to issue a ruling for months.

The 3rd Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the clubs back in June; the state appealed to the Supreme Court a day later, and the Supremes agreed to hear the case last month. The high court is not known for the swiftness of its rulings, and as the Trib notes, this case was heard late in its term, so don’t expect a decision before next year.

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