Friday, August 27, 2010

Adult bookstores & Strip Clubs Must Close @ Midnight in Missouri

From "JEFFERSON CITY -- Patrons of adult businesses might get a rude awakening come Saturday, if they haven't been paying attention to the news. They'll find the sexually oriented businesses they patronize closed after midnight.

There will be no more lap-dances. And strippers will not be allowed to be totally nude.

That's the result of a decision this morning by Cole County Circuit Court Judge Jon Beetem to refuse to delay a new law regulating adult businesses from going into effect. Like most new laws, the so-called "porn bill" becomes a law on Saturday.

"The law will undoubtedly change the business practice of Plaintiffs," Beetem wrote in his decision, "and they will likely suffer some economic loss. But economic loss alone does not alter the analysis of legal issues surrounding Plaintiffs' constitutional challenges."

A coalition of adult businesses sued the state, seeking to declare the law unconstitutional. The lawyer for the group said the lawsuit would continue, but in the meantime, the businesses will have to comply with the elements of the new law.

Attorney General Chris Koster praised Beetem's ruling in a statement:

“We believe that this new legislation passed by the Missouri General Assembly is constitutional and should become state law,” Koster said. “Prior state and federal rulings have upheld similar provisions contained in this new law, and we will continue to argue on behalf of its constitutionality if necessary.”

Koster hired an outside attorney, Scott Bergthold of Tennessee, to help the state defend the law. Bergthold helped write the law in question. He is being paid $150 an hour for his services, not to surpass $7,500 in total fees.