More than a dozen strip clubs in the Jacksonville area are currently suing the county in an effort to lower the age restriction for dancers. to 18-years-old.
According to the report at least 13 clubs are challenging the current age restriction of 21, saying that people are considered adults at the age 18 and that the age restriction is unconstitutional.
During a federal hearing on Friday, club owners and at least four dancers that dancing is a form of expression and is protected under the First Amendment.
City attorneys, however, argued that the age ban was put into place to cut down on sex trafficking and to protect younger people who are believed to be more susceptible to coercion.
Attorney Gary Edinger, who is representing the clubs and the dancers said that he believes:
” This is just a ban on speech.”
U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan seemed to agree with him stating that the county is infringing on the rights of adults:
“When you start telling adults what they can and can’t do, you’ve got to bring the goods. These are people who can vote, they can go into the service,” Corrigan said.
The parties also argued that forcing the dancers to have a government issued ID card or work permit is a legal form of restraint because it could hinder some dancers from performing as well.