The Latest: Does the law cover what dancers must cover?
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on appeals court arguments over a Louisiana law setting a minimum age of 21 for exotic dancers (all times local):
A federal appeals court is considering whether Louisiana law adequately covers the issue of what needs to be covered by dancers in strip clubs.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans heard arguments Wednesday on a 2016 law setting a minimum age of 21 for women who dance with bare breasts or buttocks in alcoholic beverage outlets.
The state hopes to reverse a judge’s ruling that blocked enforcement of the law. That ruling said state law is unconstitutionally vague as to how much of a dancer’s breasts or buttocks must be covered.
It also said the new law is written so broadly that it could unconstitutionally prohibit 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds from performing in theater or ballet productions involving nudity.
It’s unclear when the appeals court will rule.
Louisiana officials hope a federal appeals court will revive a 2016 law establishing a minimum age of 21 for exotic dancers.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments in the case Wednesday. Three women — ages 18, 19 and 20 — filed suit saying the law caused them economic hardship and violated their freedom of expression.
Lawmakers said the law was passed to keep young women from falling prey to human trafficking at strip joints.
A federal judge last year blocked enforcement of the law. He said it was written so broadly that it could unconstitutionally prohibit some theater or ballet performances involving nudity — not just nude dancing at bars where human trafficking is a concern. He also said state law defining what constitutes illegal nudity is inconsistent.