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Texas stripper 'pole tax' to get review

The highest court in the Lone Star State has agreed to consider whether the state's $5 charge on strip club patrons violates the First Amendment right of free expression.

How nice. The decision to take the case came just in time for Valentine's Day.

At issue is whether the so-called "pole tax" unfairly singles out for regulation nude dancing in clubs that serve alcohol.

Last summer, the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin agreed, by a 2-to-1 vote, with a state district judge's decision to strike down the law.

"While nude dancing 'falls only within the outer ambit of the First Amendment's protection,' it is nevertheless protected as expressive conduct," noted the appellate court opinion. And yes, Beavis and Butthead, it's not a typo; it's "ambit." And I had to look up it up, too.

So mark your calendar for Thursday, March 25. That's when the Texas Supreme Court will hear the case at St. Mary's University in San Antonio.

The off-site calling of the highest Texas court to order is part of an effort to make justice, or at least the viewing of the process, more available to more Texans.

You can read the filings on the case, No. 09-0481: Susan Combs and Greg Abbott v. Texas Entertainment Association Inc., in this PDF document or this online version.

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In Virginia Beach, customers must slip a dime into the G-string with each single, to cover our 10 percent "Food and Entertainment Tax."

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