Battle over nudity law back in court

Fourth Court of Appeals to decide if city ordinance should be upheld

SAN ANTONIO - Nude and partially nude stripping are not allowed in the city limits, but if some entertainment club owners have their way, the city would be stripped of that rule.

"If the ordinance is struck down, it means that nude dancing can return to the city of San Antonio," Jim Deegear, an attorney representing strip club owners, said. "As a matter of fact, it means for all of us, I suppose, that we'll have great rights to appear in the nude as long as we're careful if there's not another present who might be offended by that."

Nude dancing has been illegal in San Antonio since 2005. However, XTC Cabaret and Paradise gentleman's clubs didn't adhere to that rule. A raid on the club in 2009 resulted in a dozen arrests.

Soon after, the city issued an injunction, banning public nudity.

Now, the Fourth Court of Appeals will decide if that injunction is constitutional.

On Wednesday morning, Justice Phyllis Speedlin, Justice Sandee Bryan Marion and Justice Marialyn Barnard heard arguments from attorneys for club owners and the city.

"We feel good about the argument today," City Attorney Mick McKamie said. "We feel the constitutional support for our ordinance and also the facts that were presented at trial about this kind of entertainment and it's impact on the community will be upheld by this court."

A trial court had ruled in favor of the city. However, after presenting their arguments before the panel of justices for more than an hour, attorneys for both sides said they felt confident.

"We firmly believe that the city's ordinance will be upheld," McKamie said.

"I think they'll see it our way," Deegear said. "I felt that the court was open minded and at least we'll get through consideration."

The justices are now in deliberation. There's no time frame as to when they could reach a decision.


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