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Stop The Music: Boogieing and Breaking The Law

Submitted by MiaB

So, you’ve had a long, hard week at work and you’re looking for a little R & R; and you and your mate wind up in a romantic alcove with some melodic music in the background, that after 5 days of sitting behind a desk, makes you feel like kicking up your heels a bit.

But, before you get your groove on, you may want make sure you won’t be breaking the law.

Ironically, “The City That Never Sleeps”, known for it’s nightlife, has an 80-year old law (still on the books) that prohibits patrons from dancing in regular bars and restaurants; a law that is being contested by The Gotham West Coast Swing Club and certain individuals. They note that this law, enacted during the prohibition era as a guard agains speakeasies, is a flagrant violation of their constitutional right to freedom of expression. However, according to the appeals court, which upheld the law, noted that due to the reasons for its initial implementation, recreational dancing is not considered a form of expression that is protected by the federal or state constitution. And, The City’s attorney added that upholding the law only reinforces the right of the courts to protect neighborhoods and residential areas from pollution caused by noise, congestion and safety hazards.

On the other hand, plaintiffs complained that the recreational venues for tripping the light fantastic has shown a significant decline over the past few decades. They note that back in the 60s, there were approximately 1,000 places that legally allowed dancing and now there are less than 300 in existence. Furthermore, they suggest that The City’s application of the zoning laws were arbitrary and capricious. And, the attorney for the plaintiffs is expected to file for an appeal.

Entertainment News > Stop The Music: Boogieing and Breaking The Law

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