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7th Circuit bars Indianapolis’ hour limits on adult bookstores

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago has tossed an Indianapolis ordinance limiting the business hours of adult bookstores from 10 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday.

In a five-page opinion issued Friday, Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote for a panel that reversed a District Court ruling in favor of Indianapolis’ ordinance in long-running litigation, Annex Books Inc, et al. v. City of Indianapolis, 13-1500. The panel ordered Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the District Court for the Southern District of Indiana to grant an injunction barring enforcement of the closure ordinance.

Easterbrook wrote the city could no more restrict the hours of an adult bookstore than it could limit the hours during which a Sunday newspaper could be distributed.

“The difference lies in the content of the reading material. Indianapolis likes G-rated newspapers but not sexually oriented books, magazines, and movies,” Easterbrook wrote, noting that in two precedent-setting U.S. Supreme Court rulings, neither “permits units of government to stop the distribution of books because their content is objectionable, unless the material is obscene.”

“Indianapolis does not contend that any of the plaintiffs sells obscene  material; it  follows that  objection to the plaintiffs’ stock in trade cannot justify closure,” the panel held.

The city failed to persuade the court that the ordinance was justified because of claims of fewer armed robberies near adult bookstores during the times they were closed.

“The current justification is weak as a statistical matter,” the panel held, noting the city didn’t control for other potentially important variables such as nearby late-night taverns. In any event, Easterbrook wrote, “The change in the number of armed robberies is small; the difference is not statistically significant. The data do not show that robberies are more likely at adult bookstores than at other late night retail outlets, such as liquor stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores, that are not subject to the closing hours imposed on bookstores.”






 

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  • fiddling
    Right well Congress is backed by the porn industry as shown by DMCA and they have legalized a veritable sewer-pipe of porn filth into every home via the internet and right into teenagers hands via smart phones so this kind of "adult bookstore" regulation is window dressing and at best spitting into the tsunami, so who cares. Interesting how fifty years ago whatever adult bookstores sold, they wouldn't generally sell homoerotic porn because it was generally considered obscene. Now that sort of sexual activity is itself the subject of "civil rights activity" my how times have changed. So much for all that original intent crap. America, they hate us for our freedoms LOL Like democracy oh wait when a blackrobe strikes down a law is that democratic or is the blackrobe the "enemy of democracy" etc etc. What a lot of doubletalk

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  1. Oh yes, lifetime tenure. The Founders gave that to the federal judges .... at that time no federal district courts existed .... so we are talking the Supreme Court justices only in context ....so that they could rule against traditional marriage and for the other pet projects of the sixties generation. Right. Hmmmm, but I must admit, there is something from that time frame that seems to recommend itself in this context ..... on yes, from a document the Founders penned in 1776: " He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."

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  3. A traditional parade of attorneys? Really Evansville? Y'all need to get out more. When is the traditional parade of notaries? Nurses? Sanitation workers? Pole dancers? I gotta wonder, do throngs of admiring citizens gather to laud these marching servants of the constitution? "Show us your billing records!!!" Hoping some video gets posted. Ours is not a narcissistic profession by any chance, is it? Nah .....

  4. My previous comment not an aside at court. I agree with smith. Good call. Just thought posting here a bit on the if it bleeds it leads side. Most attorneys need to think of last lines of story above.

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