About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

42 Fla. L. Rev. 399 (1990)
Constitutional Law: Procedural Safeguards Required in First Amendment Prior Restraint Context

handle is hein.journals/uflr42 and id is 409 raw text is: CONSTITUTIONAL LAW:
PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS REQUIRED IN
FIRST AMENDMENT PRIOR RESTRAINT CONTEXT*
FW/PBS, Inc., d/b/a Paris Adult Bookstore H v. City of Dallas,
110 S. Ct. 596 (1990)
Petitioners' filed suit to challenge respondent's ordinance regulat-
ing sexually oriented businesses. The ordinance, which included a
licensing scheme,2 was designed to eradicate secondary effects of crime
and urban blight.3 Under the ordinance, petitioners could not operate
*Editor's Note: This case comment was awarded the George W. Milam Outstanding Case
Comment Award for Spring 1990.
1. Three groups brought three separate suits: those involved in selling, exhibiting, or
distributing publications, video or motion picture films; adult cabarets, or establishments provid-
ing live nude dancing or films, motion pictures, video cassettes, slides or other photographic
reproductions depicting sexual activities and anatomy specified in the ordinance; and adult motel
owners. FW/PBS, Inc. v. City of Dallas, 110 S. Ct. 596, 602 (1990).
2. Id. The ordinance also included zoning and inspection requirements and a civil disability
provision prohibiting individuals convicted of certain crimes from obtaining a license for a
specified period of years. Id. The Court granted certiorari on the issue of whether the licensing
scheme constituted a prior restraint and did not review the zoning aspects of the ordinance.
Id. at 603. Since the Court found that none of the petitioners had demonstrated standing to
challenge the civil disability provision of the ordinance, the Court did not reach the merits of
their challenges to this provision. Id. at 608-09.
3. Id. at 602. Section 41A-l(a) of the ordinance reads:
It is the purpose of this chapter to regulate sexually oriented businesses to promote
the health, safety, morals, and general welfare of the citizens of the city, and to
establish reasonable and uniform regulations to prevent the continued concentration
of sexually oriented businesses within the city. The provisions of this chapter have
neither the purpose nor effect of imposing a limitation or restriction on the content
of any communicative materials, including sexually oriented materials. Similarly,
it is not the intent nor effect of this chapter to restrict or deny access by adults
to sexually oriented materials protected by the First Amendment, or to deny access
by the distributors and exhibitors of sexually oriented entertainment to their in-
tended market.
Dallas, Tex., City Code, ch. 41A, § 41A-1(a) (1986).
Despite this disclaimer of intent, and similar disclaiming statements from members of both
the City Commissioners and City Council who adopted the ordinance, the public supporters of
the ordinance backed the ordinance because of its suppression of speech. Dumas v. City of
Dallas, 648 F. Supp. 1061, 1064-65 & n.11 (N.D. Tex. 1986). It is difficult to imagine eradicating
the secondary effects of crime and urban blight associated with the sexually oriented businesses
without first eradicating the businesses themselves. It is also difficult to imagine that the City
Council and City Commission members would not be influenced in their purpose for adopting
the ordinance by the public that elected them. See id.

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 3,000 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most