Tennessee Drag Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

Posted June 3, 2023 by with 4 comments

In-depth analysis of the ruling, which came in late last night, from the Trump-appointed judge on the Tennessee drag ban is here from Chris Geidner at LawDork. Summary:

A federal judge appointed by Donald Trump ruled late Friday night that Tennessee’s Adult Entertainment Act (AEA), which would restrict drag performances in the state and threaten performers who violate the law with felony criminal penalties, is unconstitutional.

“The Tennessee General Assembly can certainly use its mandate to pass laws that their communities demand,” U.S. District Judge Thomas Parker wrote. “But that mandate as to speech is limited by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which commands that laws infringing on the Freedom of Speech must be narrow and well-defined. The AEA is neither.”

Parker, appointed to the bench in 2017, found after a two-day trial that the law — criminalizing “adult cabaret entertainment” performances anywhere “where the adult cabaret entertainment could be viewed by a person who is not an adult” — is unconstitutional on several grounds.


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