The Missouri Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of new restrictions on strip clubs, adult video stores, and other adult businesses.
The new law, which passed in May 2010, requires sexually-oriented businesses to close by midnight, and bans full nudity, alcohol, and any contact between semi-nude employees and customers. A coalition of people and businesses in the adult entertainment industry filed the challenge.
Critics say the law violates constitutionally protected rights of free expression and that lawmakers failed to follow proper procedures when they approved the measure. Supporters say the law is meant to target the negative secondary effects of sexually-oriented businesses, including property crime, prostitution, and drug use.
The state's high court struck down a similar law in 2005, though the challenge was not filed on the same grounds.