A $5 entrance fee to Texas strip clubs is constitutional and not an improper restriction on nude dancing, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday.Notice the hypocrisy? An all-Republican court ruled it is okay to impose a small tax on a business because they do not approve of that type of business. Had this been a "pump tax," where customers had to pay a five dollar charge to access a gas station, I am sure the GOP court would rule the small dollar amount was improperly restricting business.
Lower courts had called the so-called "pole tax" an improper burden on the free expression of nude dancing and a violation of the First Amendment.
The fee has been imposed on clubs that allow nude dancing and serve alcohol since 2007 to raise money for sexual assault prevention programs and health care for the uninsured.
But the all-Republican Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously, said the fee is too small to be considered a burden on free expression, and the state has a legitimate interest in trying to curb the secondary effects of potential violence associated with adult entertainment and alcohol.
To avoid paying the fee, strip clubs could simply not serve alcohol, Justice Nathan Hecht wrote for the court.