United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Constitutional Law — freedom of speech — adult book stores
A municipality may not prohibit only adult book stores from being open on Sundays.
“What is the difference between preventing a newspaper from selling paper copies on Sunday (or before 10 a.m.) and preventing an adult bookstore from selling paper copies on Sunday (or before 10)? Not secondary effects: the harms to third parties caused by a newspaper likely exceed those caused by an adult bookstore. The difference lies in the content of the reading material. Indianapolis likes G-rated newspapers but not sexually oriented books, magazines, and movies. Yet neither Alameda Books nor Playtime Theatres permits units of government to stop the distribution of books because their content is objectionable, unless the material is obscene. See also, e.g., United States v. Stevens, 559 U.S. 460 (2010) (‘crush videos’ cannot be suppressed); American Booksellers Association, Inc. v. Hudnut, 771 F.2d 323 (7th Cir. 1985), affirmed summarily, 475 U.S. 1001 (1986) (material that is pornographic, but not obscene, cannot be suppressed). Indianapolis does not contend that any of the plaintiffs sells obscene material; it follows that objection to the plaintiffs’ stock in trade cannot justify closure.”
Reversed and Remanded.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Barker, J., Easterbrook, J.