The U.S. Supreme Court refused Thursday to reinstate a Florida law that punishes businesses for allowing children into drag shows.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law the “Protection of Children Act” in May to ban “children” from any “adult live performances” that feature sexual or lewd conduct. The penalty for restaurants or other venues that violate the statute is potential license revocation or even criminal charges. While the law does not explicitly refer to drag shows, it is widely seen as aimed at them.
Hamburger Mary’s Restaurant and Bar in Orlando, Fla., challenged the law in court, contending that it violates the First Amendment right of free speech. The restaurant frequently hosts drag show performances, comedy sketches, and dancing. In July a federal judge in Florida temporarily blocked the law from going into effect, and the state of Florida asked the Supreme Court to reinstate it while appeals are carried out in the lower courts.
Three justices would have allowed DeSantis to violate the Constitution. You’ll never guess which ones!
But on Thursday afternoon, the court refused to do that by a 6-to-3 vote, with the courts three most conservative justices–Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch noting their dissents.
Gee, don’t tell Larry Lessig, or it might lead to further investigations indicating that the Easter Bunny isn’t real.