Vice Squad
Saturday, July 31, 2004
Vice Verdicts From Federal Appellate Courts

(1) Vibrators Verboten in Vinemont: Yes, I have been moved to alliteration. An Alabama state law banning the sale of sex toys was upheld in a ruling last week by a three judge panel of the 11th Circuit. (The panel split, 2-1, in favor of upholding the wise piece of legislation.) The absolutely necessary law will not be enforced until appeals have run their course, it seems. The next step is for the plaintiffs, morally-challenged merchants and customers, to ask for a rehearing before the whole panoply of 11th Circuit judges. The state's Assistant Attorney General noted one compassionate feature of the law, which provides an exemption for those who need the diabolical devices for medical reasons. (Vinemont is a town in Alabama, incidentally.)

(2) Pennsylvania College Newspapers Can Get Paid for Alcohol Ads:
A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that a Pennsylvania law banning paid advertisements for alcohol in college newspapers is unconstitutional.

A three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the 1996 law, which was intended to combat underage drinking, placed an unfair financial burden on student-run publications and hindered their right to free speech while doing little to achieve its goal.
The law attempted to avoid First Amendment problems by not prohibiting the newspapers from running alcohol ads; they just couldn't be paid for it. The three-judge panel was unimpressed with the trickery.

Thanks to Howard Bashman at How Appealing for both of the pointers.

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