Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Fantasyland Video v. San Diego (9th Cir. - Aug. 7, 2007)

The certification frenzy continues.

The Ninth Circuit has been on a frenetic pace of certifying questions to state supreme courts lately, and back in May, certified its first decision in a while to the California Supreme Court (after already certifying in 2007 to the supreme courts of Oregon, Washington, and Nevada -- indeed, for the latter, twice). Now, the Ninth Circuit certifies again to the California Supreme Court. This time in a case from right down here in San Diego.

It involves a question critical to the health, welfare, and safety of San Diegans, on a topic that is foremost in the minds of every informed citizen of America's Finest City: Should adult video stores be compelled to close down between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.?

San Diego thinks so, and has passed a law to that effect. And the Ninth Circuit wants to know if the free speech challenge to that ordinance under the California Constitution should be adjudicated through strict, intermediate, or some other level of scrutiny. So it asks the California Supreme Court.

What's the purpose of the San Diego ordinance shutting down adult video stores between 2 and 6 in the morning, you ask? "To prevent masturbation during those hours when law enforcement problems are greatest."

I can think of no more pressing danger to America.