------ Forwarded Message
From: Jim Warren <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 09:02:22 -0800
To: "<Dave Farber:;>"
Subject: fwd: Supreme Court no comment on "Use a sex toy; go to jail!" law

MORE evidence that too many of the Supremes are now geriatric?  --jim

>Court Rejects Appeal on Sex Toy Sales Ban
>WASHINGTON (Reuters) -  The U.S. Supreme Court (news - web sites) rejected
>on Tuesday a constitutional challenge to an Alabama law that makes it a
>crime to sell sex toys.
> The high court refused to hear an appeal by a group of individuals who
>regularly use sexual devices and by two vendors who argued the case raised
>important issues about the scope of the constitutional right to sexual
> The law prohibited the distribution of "any device designed or marketed as
>useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs." First-time
>violators can face a fine of up to $10,000 and as much as one year in jail.
> The law, adopted in 1998, allowed the sale of ordinary vibrators and body
>massagers that are not designed or marketed primarily as sexual aids. It
>exempted sales of sexual devices "for a bona fide medical, scientific,
>educational, legislative, judicial or law enforcement purpose."
> Georgia and Texas are the only other states that restrict the distribution
>of sexual devices, according to the court record in the case.
> Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites),
>representing those who challenged the law, argued that private, consensual
>sexual conduct among adults is constitutionally protected and beyond the
>reach of government regulation.
> They said the Supreme Court's decision in 2003 striking down a Texas sodomy
>law also created a fundamental, constitutional due process right to sexual
> "The evidence shows that this case is not about novelty items, naughty toys
>or obscene matter. It is a case about human sexuality and extremely intimate
>acts," the attorneys said.
> They said Alabama has never explained "why sales of performance enhancing
>drugs like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra and even ribbed condoms are not
>similarly prohibited."
> The attorneys said the state did not contest the evidence that about 20
>percent of all American women use a vibrator and at least 10 percent of
>sexually active adults use vibrators in their regular sex life.
> A federal judge ruled against the state and found a constitutional "right
>to use sexual devices like ... vibrators, dildos, anal beads and artificial
> But a U.S. appeals court based in Atlanta upheld the law by a 2-1 vote.
> The appeals court said it agreed with Alabama that the law exercised
>time-honored use of state police power to restrict the sale of sex. It
>rejected the ACLU's argument that the constitutional right to privacy
>covered the commercial sale of sex toys.
> Alabama Attorney General Troy King opposed the ACLU's appeal.
> "This case involves conduct that is both public and commercial -- the sale
>of sexual devices to the general public in commercial retail shopping
>centers" and at in-house Tupperware-style parties, he said.
> King said the law respected "the distinction between public commercial
>conduct and purely private behavior." He said, "It ... stays out of people's
> The justices rejected the appeal without any comment or recorded dissent.

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