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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. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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