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First Amendment

Texas Supreme Court Upholds Nude Dancing Customer Fee

Posted Aug 26, 2011 11:28 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that a law requiring nude dancing establishments to pay a fee of $5 per customer does not violate the First Amendment.

The fee has been dubbed a “pole tax,” the Austin Legal blog reports. The ruling today overturns an intermediate appeals court that found the fee unconstitutional because it singled out protected expression in nude dancing.

The law applies only to businesses that serve alcohol and provide live nude entertainment. “The fee in this case is clearly directed, not at expression in nude dancing, but at the secondary effects of nude dancing when alcohol is being consumed,” the Texas Supreme Court says in its opinion (PDF).

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