State Court Ends Texas “Pole Tax” on Strip Clubs

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.

For the prior discussion, click here and here.

For the latest article, click here

35 thoughts on “State Court Ends Texas “Pole Tax” on Strip Clubs”

  1. Publius:

    Thank you for the information and I welcome your presence here. Jefferson’s letter to Kercheval, written after his Presidency, and at a time when he was more reflective on the Country, its governance, and his role, should be mandatory reading in history classes around the Nation. The eloquence is typically Jefferson, but the depth of understanding borne of experience, is exceptional even for the sage of Monticello. The last paragraph from which you quote is a distillation of Jefferson’s essential thoughts on the nations future. I consider it a national treasure.

  2. Panel four, Jefferson Memorial

    “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

    Original Passage:

    “I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the same coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

    — to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1810

  3. binx101:

    I disagree slightly with Patty. I do not read your post to be questioning his place in the world just his way of dealing with his place in it. I agree with your tact in dealing with him as I, like George Bernard Shaw, believe that “silence is the most perfect expression of scorn.”

  4. Patty:

    Most assuredly, if it appears that I attacked ‘his’ place in the world, even if by clumsy wording, I am most apologetic. In fact, that would be quite the opposite of my intention.

    Perhaps my less than skillful writing defeated my purpose. I’m guessing it is the sentence about being a ‘successful person.’ My intention was to point out ‘successful’ in a philosophical sense – irrespective of income. After re-reading it I assure you, it was bad writing not bad intentions; lest I would be more rude than he.

  5. Binx, with all due respect and affection for you, I thought you were doing well with regard to articulating your observations and how you experience Niblet’s crotchetiness – up until you attacked his place in the world.

    And so I must disagree with Michael, in that I felt you fell short of being totally respectful.

    It’s called the inflammatory response in medicine.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmbWE3jLUgM

    Three quotes I like, and am know to say are:

    Church is a place for sinners.

    The apple never falls far from the tree.

    What’s so is so – everything else is just the story about it.

    p.s. MS, you are new to the blog. From Broward Dept of Health?

  6. Binx,
    Loved your post and even if it Niblet can’t get it its was a valuable and repectful point to make.

    Rafflaw,
    I too honor your son’s service. As the father of two young women I could only marvel at the combination of pride in his service and fear for his safety that you must deal with. Although I can be considered, by those who need to characterize, a left wing liberal, love for America and its’ people is deeply emotional within me. This is true even when i disagree with an immoral government’s policies.

    Mespo,
    Thank for the Arendt quote it is quite prescient and on point. I do believe though that not all conservatives are necessity unable to see others viewpoints, I’ve heard and met some who are quite open-minded, especially those of the libertarian persuasion. That is why I call Niblet a pseudo-conservative.

    I appreciate this site so much because of the general tenor of the people who post here. It reminds me of my childhood listening to the grownups talk politics around the dinner table, only now I have something to contribute.

  7. Rufflaw:

    I agree, and acknowledge that is precisely what both your sons are fighting for. Like you, I do not visit the sins of the father upon the son.

  8. MichaelSpindell:

    Your point is well taken. I have always liked Hannah Arendt’s observation on hypocrisy:

    “What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.”

  9. Mespo,
    I agree that Niblet has a First Amendment right and we must honor that. However, he must also honor our First Amendment rights. No matter how “kooky” he thinks our statements and beliefs. As the father of a newly commissioned Marine 2nd LT myself, I honor his son’s service, no matter how rude his father is.

  10. Rufflaw:

    Is it just me or is respect for the other person’s point of view and conservatism mutually exclusive? I mean no one expects obsequiousnesses but for a grown man to call another person stupid, a nitwit, a phony, a kook, and then to imply that a judge is a deviant because he takes a different view does cross the line. I do like an enthusiastic opponent for argument, but must we deal with one whose idea of discourse was stunted in about the fifth grade? Well lI propose we show him the courtesy he denies to others and preserve his First Amendment rights which I am sure will further infuriate him. Yeah I like that approach.

  11. This is addressed to Niblet:

    It has been my practice to ignore you, because you aren’t particularly intellectual. You may have mastered “the Google” but it is clear from what you write that you truly don’t actually understand what you read or many of the comments from the thoughtful contributors to this sight.

    You also said your son was serving in the military – whether that is true or not is irrelevant. You are rude to everyone, while they continue to treat you with a degree of respect. You are, at the very least a very angry person. To this, even an idiot like me can deduce that you are not a successful person, philosophically speaking. Your income would again be irrelevant to the group that is assembled here.

    Two things though, that are most disturbing, is that you have wasted an opportunity to intellectually or even emotionally, articulate you positions without personally assaulting the very thoughtful people that visit here. We’ve had heated discussions, that have gotten very testy, but except for one other “contributor”, which is very likely your alter ego, you have never entered an actual discussion, just insults. What a wasted opportunity.

    The first is it’s clear you aren’t a paid blog disruptor because you don’t have etymological chops. It’s clear you aren’t as old as you pretend because your language is strictly contemporary. And you are not worried that your IP address is a matter of record so you aren’t particularly tech savvy, or understand that you aren’t as anonymous as you believe. But more revealing is your unrelenting spirit for your cause, whatever that may be.

    The second and last point is: You are repeatedly rude to our very generous host. He provides this blog as personal blog, no ads, no hidden agenda, just a good spirited discussion among people that mostly share many values and are capable of arguing points without personal insult. Yet everyday, you find a way to say something that is insulting, offensive and just plain rude. Professor Turley ignores you. He could block you from posting but he doesn’t because he demonstrates a venue for free speech.

    You are rude. Very simply. You are rude, with no reason. Everyone here treats you with dignity except you.

  12. “Leave it to liberals to find a way to make anything that would help society out at the cost of deviants”

    Niblet,
    This statement says all that is necessary to define your problem, which is that you are basically immoral. I write this as someone who has never in my 63 years entered a strip club, nor used the services of a prostitute. While I have never chosen to use either of these services I make no judgments as to others partaking of them. Indeed I firmly believe that unless coercion is involved, these occupations should be decriminalized and that they are none of governments business.

    I would guess though that the majority of the users of these services are pseudo-conservatives like yourself, who otherwise would have difficulty obtaining sex in the usual ways. I say this not only because of the higher than averages rates of divorce and adultery in so-called Red States, but because I’ve found in life that the biggest sexual moralists were usually hypocrites.

    Which come to you Niblet. To me the essence of religious teaching is
    “The Golden Rule.” Pseudo-Conservatives, like yourself, do not believe in this rule, because they only equate sin with sexuality. In that respect they will claim a fetus’s right to life, but deny it the community’s assistance once it is born. They will support an unjustifiable war that kills hundreds of thousands of people, but decry an unseeable nipple exposed briefly at the Super Bowl. I could go on with these examples, but I doubt that you would understand or be able to absorb the central point, which is that you and your ilk are hypocrites and to me that is the greatest immorality.

  13. Nibs,
    I am impressed that you can call me a nitwit and stupid in the same post. That shows alot of intelligence. You seem to forget that the framers of the constitution were left wing kooks who knew what the people wanted and needed to establish a democratic republic.

  14. Nibbles:

    Only you could take Jefferson’s small qualifier and make it more important than the thrust of the entire statement. I guess in your black and white world that passes for scholarship. Btw there is a Jefferson passage that does support some of what you say, but I’ll let you find it. It might be good for you to rummage around Jefferson’s mind for a while. Maybe you’ll get some insight into the man who refutes everything you stand for, and, who almost two centuries before your birth, eloquently dismissed the tired old arguments that you somehow believe to be shining and new because you typed them. Dinosaur thinking like yours has always existed, feebly trying to thwart democracy and progress. Thankfully nature has always known how to deal with those creatures who will not change.

  15. rafflow: you are another nitwit that thinks leaving parts of quotes out fools people. Below is what mespo “forgot” to include in the quote. read my post so you don’t look so stupid.

    (INSERT) I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects.(END OF INSERT)

  16. Well said Mespo. The Framers original intent was that the Constitution should be a living, breathing document that has to change with society as you indicated with the excellent quote from Thomas Jefferson. Niblet is probably still “googling” the name Jefferson to see who he was. I will give him a hint, Mr. Jefferson’s first name is not George.

  17. Mespo you are such a phony. The SECOND paragraph below is what was in the ORIGINAL attribution to Jefferson. It makes ONE HECK OF A BIG DIFFERENCE DOESN’T IT. FUNNY HOW you LEFT WING KOOKS ALWAYS LEAVE OUT THE IMPORTANT STUFF:

    “I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions.

    (INSERT) I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects.(END OF INSERT)

    But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the same coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

    MESPO: I WOULD GUESS JEFFERSON HAD A GOOD IDEA HOW TO FIND A “MEANS OF CORRECTING THEIR ILL EFFECTS”, EH?????????????

  18. Niblet:

    “Of course they never envisioned “men” becoming pregnant, challenges to the right to firearms, kids using profanity in public places, an invasion of foreigners ignoring the new borders, challenges to English being our native language…”

    ****************

    Well they didn’t have to. They had the outrageous notion we could think and adapt for ourselves as Mr. Jefferson explained:

    “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

    See it is you neo-cons who are the radicals; we “lefties” are merely living up to the framers real intent. Reading history is a wonderful thing, it allows you to discern the ramblings of the ignorant from the words of the wise.

  19. Turley, do you really believe that half the crap you object to is really what the founding fathers had an idea was to be permitted?

    How terribly short sighted of those founding fathers to not realize just how abhorrant the left in America would stretch their poor choice of words in the document to. Of course they never envisioned “men” becoming pregnant, challenges to the right to firearms, kids using profanity in public places, an invasion of foreigners ignoring the new borders, challenges to English being our native language, or any of 2,000 other ridiculous garbage those that are to the left of Fidel Castro in this country pull every day.

  20. Leave it to liberals to find a way to make anything that would help society out at the cost of deviants to be not permitted based on archane interpretations of a poll tax. No doubt this judge didn’t want to spend another $5 three days out of the week he goes there.

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