July 16, 2010
A federal appeals court has upheld Virginia laws prohibiting the sale of hard liquor at strip clubs.
Two clubs in Richmond and one in Springfield claimed there is no rational basis for allowing the sale of beer and wine, but not mixed drinks, at establishments that feature dancers clad only in G-strings and pasties. The three Papermoon clubs alleged that the laws violate the First Amendment.
A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a unanimous opinion Thursday that the public interest served by the regulatory scheme is substantial while the restriction on the clubs is minimal. The court embraced the state's position that mixing hard liquor with erotic performances can lead to increased crime and other negative consequences.
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