Calif. Court Rejects Strip Club’s Free-Speech Claim

     (CN) – A Los Angeles strip club cannot use a free-speech argument to win the right to sell alcohol, a California appeals court ruled.

     SP Star Enterprises operates an exotic-dancing club in a converted warehouse north of Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. It also operates a Penthouse-branded adult cabaret.
     A local mortuary and a Buddhist temple objected to Star’s application to sell alcohol on the premises.
     The city’s Central Area Planning Commission (APC) denied the alcohol application, and the trial court upheld the decision.
     Star appealed, claiming that it was being discriminated against for providing a disfavored form of protected expression. Justice Klein of the 2nd District Court of Appeal disagreed.
     “The case does not involve free speech but the right to sell alcohol,” Klein wrote, “which is not a protected activity and does not involve a fundamental vested right.
     “The standards applied by the APC are not vague or arbitrary,” Klein added, “and the APC’s decision finds substantial support in the record.”

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