Dancing, 1St Amendment Rights Essay, Research Paper
Should government keep new dance clubs from opening because they are a place where drug abuse and fights happen? No. Government should not have any authority to close the place unless there are violations going on with the business of the club, not with the customers. This is a violation of the first amendment rights, the freedom of speech, the freedom of nonverbal speech, the freedom to dance.
Orange County Florida has recently voted to temporarily keep new late-night clubs from opening in the Orlando area to reduce the drug abuse among the club goers. People who go to these clubs say this is not fair because it takes away from their lives, especially for those who get off from work very late.
The shut down of dance clubs in order to reduce various nuisances is a common practice in America these days. In June of 1999, U.S. District Judge John Coughenour overruled a proposal to shut down some Seattle nightclubs. According to the June 30, 1999 Seattle Times, Coughenour ruled that live music and dancing deserves substantial first amendment protection.
How can dancing be a first amendment right? Some people believe dancing is a form of expression and the first amendment guards the freedoms of expressing one s self. In reference to a Nashville city ordnance to stop nude dancing, Vanderbilt University s Legal Department said in their First Amendment Legal Watch, Vol. I, No. 44, that dancing is nonverbal speech and these nonverbal acts are considered expressive conduct and protected by the First Amendment.
Most dancing cases that test the first amendment involve nude dancing. But if nude dancing is considered a first amendment right, then ordinary dancing by a group of young adults attending dance clubs is a first amendment right also. Shutting down and banning new clubs to open just to prevent a problem such as drugs and fights strip these people of their first amendment right to free expression. It is unconstitutional.
Government can force a business to close if the way it does business violates laws. If the employees of a business encourage fighting and drug use because their boss tells them to do so, then the government should intervene to shut the place down. However, when the fighting and drug use is among customers, the management and employees should take care of the matter.