Judge Strikes Down Dress Code for Strippers

Skins can continue to celebrate with pats on backsides

BALTIMORE, Md. -- A federal judge has overturned a Maryland law that restricted strippers' clothing, dancing and proximity to their customers.

The decision is a blessing for the Washington Redskins' morale, as the judge noted "the restrictions would also punish the owners of [FedEx Field] for allowing Redskin players or coaches to give a congratulatory pat on the bottom during a game."

U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis declared the law unconstitutional. It was first supposed to go into effect in 2005, but the Legend Night Club and Classics Night Club delayed it with a preliminary hearing.

The law -- conceived to restrict the conduct, attire and dance moves of "entertainers," as well as their, ahem, "proximity to patrons" (i.e., lap dances) at Prince George's County establishments that serve alcohol -- was too broad, Garbis said, and would have covered more than just adult entertainment, including fanny-patting football players.

Also, a grandfather clause violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

"There is no community benefit that results from allowing two 'adult entertainment' facilities to remain open (Hanger Club and Ebony Inn) while closing the plaintiffs' and others' competing operations," Garbis wrote. "Indeed, if the purported legislative purpose were genuine, there would have been no reason whatsoever for allowing any establishment to present the 'adult entertainment' at issue."

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