The suit names Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster as defendant and questions the constitutionality of S.B. 586. It further claims that lawmakers refused
to do a proper fiscal review of the laws impact on Missouri tax revenue.
The law, sponsored by Republican Matt Bartle, passed in May banning nudity at Missouri's gentlemen's clubs and prohibiting the sale or use of alcohol at such businesses. It also regulates hours of operation and where the clubs and bookstores can locate.
"The first thing is obviously the First Amendment
challenge to the bill, and that is that the bill suppresses freedom of
expression during certain hours and in certain means that are
unconstitutional," attorney Dick Bryant tells the RFT sister paper, Kansas City Pitch.
second part we've challenged is that the bill was
enacted improperly because they failed to do the fiscal review
required by the state of Missouri, and that argument is actually in two
parts," continues Bryant, who filed the suit on behalf of the Missouri Association of Club Executives and 16 other business owners, stores, and dancers. "The first part of it is that they
didn't do the fiscal review, the second part is that they will be
spending tax dollars improperly by having to enforce this if it is
sustained as being legitimate. The other part is that the fiscal review
that was available didn't recognize that there's going to be a $4
million dollar hit to
taxpayers if the bill is sustained."
The law is set to go into effect on August 28. Bryant tells the Pitch that he hope the state won't enforce the law until the suit filed yesterday is resolved. If not, he plans to file an injunction to stop its enforcement.