Recently, this blog has featured a number of states targeting strip clubs for special taxes — raising serious constitutional concerns. Now a federal court has agreed and struck down such a tax in Texas. Travis County District Judge Scott H. Jenkins has ruled that such laws are unconstitutional under the first amendment.
In Texas, legislators wanted to use a $5 per patron tax to raise more than $40 million annually for anti-sexual-assault programs and healthcare for the uninsured.
Jenkins wisely struck down the law after finding that “There is no evidence that combining alcohol with nude erotic dancing causes dancers to be uninsured,” he wrote.
State Rep. Ellen Cohen of Houston, however, is not deterred and vowed to write a narrower measure. Yet, one way to have more money for such programs is to stop writing unconstitutional legislation that causes the state to spend copious amounts of money for politically popular but constitutionally flawed bills.
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