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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

So sorry, Founders

First Amendment tomfoolery:

AUSTIN, Texas - A $5-per-customer fee on strip club patrons dubbed the "pole tax" has been declared unconstitutional.

A state district judge ruled that clubs can't collect the fee. The charge went into effect in January and was expected to raise about $44 million for sexual assault prevention programs and health care for the uninsured.

Judge Scott Jenkins wrote in the March 28 decision that the fee, "while furthering laudable goals, violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is therefore invalid."

Those who think it is important to protect political speech as a vital component of a representative democracy, without frivolous distractions, may now say a small prayer.