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Jackson Mayor Taken to Task

Jackson, Mississippi- the following editorial appeared in The Clarion Ledger: Jackson Mayor Frank Melton can threaten action all he wants, but the fact is that under the laws of this state and nation, “adult entertainment” is a legal business.

On Monday, after weeks of Melton visiting the city’s strip clubs and shutting the establishments down when he reportedly saw violations, the City Council said it would review if the businesses were operating within the city’s ordinance and make a decision in five days.

Melton has promised to veto Council action that doesn’t go along with his viewpoint. That’s counterproductive.

The fact is, Jackson has an ordinance that is quite specific on what is not legal behavior in “adult businesses.”

The anti-nudity ordinance the city adopted in 1995 was carefully crafted to be the most restrictive possible and still conform to court rulings. And U.S. District Judge Tom S. Lee in 1996 upheld it, saying: ”The court concludes that the ordinance adopted by the city of Jackson represents a valid exercise both under state law and the United States Constitution of the city’s municipal police power.”

If police would simply enforce the law on the books, there wouldn’t be the infractions Melton is citing. Perhaps that is the problem: It hasn’t been enforced adequately in the past. It should be without fanfare or controversy. If Melton sees the law is enforced, there should be no issue.

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