U.S. District Judge Fred Biery has spoken. The Texas judge issued a ruling in the case he called "The Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Bikini Top v. the (More) Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Pastie."
Yes, indeed. At issue was a strip club's request for a preliminary injunction that would block enforcement of a San Antonio ordinance requiring its dancers to wear bikini tops while entertaining. The club had asked that its employees be allowed to wear nipple-covering "pasties" instead.
The fact that this case went to court is strange enough. But that seems downright pedestrian when compared with Judge Biery's hilarious ruling that was so full of double-entendres we could barely keep up.
The 29-page document starts off with a bang. "An ordinance dealing with semi-nude dancers has once again fallen into the city's lap," he writes.
The City of San Antonio ("City") wants exotic dancers employed by Plantiffs to wear larger pieces of fabric to cover more of the female breast. Thus, the age old question before the Court, now with constitutional implications, is: Does size matter?
And that's just the first paragraph. All through the ruling, Biery doesn't miss an opportunity to drop a one-liner poking fun at the inherent ridiculousness of the case.
Some of the judge's best "That's what she said!" lines...
Plaintiffs clothe themselves in the First Amendment seeking to provide cover against another alleged naked grab of unconstitutional power.
Plaintiffs, and by extension their customers, seek an erection of a constitutional wall separating themselves from the regulatory power of City government.
While the Court has not received amicus curiae briefs, the Court has been blessed with volunteers known in South Texas as 'curious amigos' to be inspectors general to perform on sight visits at the locations in question.
To bare, or not to bare, that is the question. While the Court finds these businesses to be nefarious magnets of mischief, the Court doubts several square inches of fabric will stanch the flow of violence and other secondary effects emanating from these businesses.
The judge's conclusion is the stuff of legend. Here it is, in all its glory:
Accordingly, the request for preliminary injunction is DENIED.
Should the parties choose to string this case out to trial on the merits, the Court encourages reasonable discovery intercourse as they navigate the peaks and valleys of litigation, perhaps to reach a happy ending.
It is so ORDERED.
You can't make this stuff up. You can check out the entire document below.
- Crime & Justice
- preliminary injunction