I am sure that when Jefferson, Adams, Franklin and the rest of the founding fathers were dealing with the issue of free speech in the 1780s, bars and strip clubs were at the top of their list. Leave it to a Springfield lawyer to allege the early closure of such establishments infringes upon ‘freedom of speech.’
Live music can no longer be heard by willing patrons, customers can no longer nod their heads or sway their hips to the beat of popular radio tunes, and dancers can no longer perform on stages.
What?! While Ben Franklin was well-known for dipping his quill where it didn’t belong, even for him, this would be a stretch. Individuals have the right to engage in the business of their choice. If you choose to make your money in a regulated industry, then you must submit to that regulation. You may claim the regulation is unreasonable. It seems not so much in this case.
It is probably tough to argue a 1:00 AM closing time is unreasonable. I admit that it would be fun to be in the courtroom and hear Joe Attorney argue that Boobatha’s constitutional rights have been denied because she can’t unleash her Triple-Ds upon the Sons of the American Revolution meeting that takes place each night at one in the Mardi Gras’ Liberty Tree room.
It would seem to me that there are plenty of other establishments that could facilitate the ‘swaying of hips’ within the City of Springfield at that hour. Athough, most would require the wearing of pants. Therein lies the rub, so to speak, for those paying Joe Attorney.
What happens if a court determines bars, strippers and hip swayers do indeed have a constitutional right to do the voodoo they do? Well that opens the door to the rest of us to assert whatever crazy rights we think up. Lets hope the judge ‘head nods’ this suit out the door.