Court Rules On Minimum Age Law For Louisiana Strippers
In the world of judges, attorneys, and the law good ideas are often shot down because of vague language. This appears to be the case in Louisiana lawmaker's attempts to raise the minimum age for exotic dancers from 18 to 21.
Thursday's ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans is being hailed as a victory for three women, who were identified in court as Jane Doe. Those women were seeking to block the new minimum age law for dancers who perform with breasts or buttocks exposed or partially exposed in clubs where alcohol is sold and served.
This means that dancers aged 18,19, and 20 years of age may still perform legally at establishments that offer that kind of entertainment. The minimum age law, passed in the last session of the legislature, was intended to raise the minimum age for performers to 21. Supporters of the law suggest its intent was to keep young women from falling prey to human trafficking at strip joints.
In the 5th Circuit Ruling, it was pointed out that sections of the law, as it was passed, are too vague to be enforced or too vague to be considered Constitutional. Many opponents of the minimum age law felt the law compromised the performer's freedom of expression. That ambiguity and vagueness are the reasons the 5th Circuit ruled the way it did.
The legislation's author, State Senator Ronnie Johns of Lake Charles, has suggested a reworked and reworded version of the bill will likely be submitted to the legislature for debate when they convene in April.