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June 2015 Archives

Pennsylvania Bill Seeks to Regulate Strip Clubs out of Existence

Pennsylvania House Bill 262, introduced earlier this year by Representative Matt Baker of Tioga County, seeks to drastically expand regulations of "adult establishments" promulgated by Section 5501 et. seq. of Title 68 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. The media has characterized this bill as a "stripper registration" legislation, but it would actually do much more than create a stripper registry. In fact, it appears that the true purpose of the bill is to make it illegal for strip clubs to effectively operate, and thus, regulate them out of existence. Similar "trap laws" have been introduced in other states to impose a de facto ban on abortion, while not running afoul of Roe v. Wade by explicitly banning a constitutionally protected right. vintage.dancer.backstage.jpg

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down School Zone Mandatory Minimum

Earlier this week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared Pennsylvania's school zone mandatory minimum sentence for drug offenses to be unconstitutional in the case of Commonwealth v. Hopkins. This affirmed an earlier Pennsylvania Superior Court decision in Commonwealth v. Bizzel, which had already declared the school zone mandatory minimum to be unconstitutional in 2014. The highly-criticized school zone mandatory created a two to four year mandatory minimum sentence for any drug felony occurring within 1,000 feet of the real property line of any school or university. In densely populated areas, or college towns like State College, entire communities were "school zones." Drug.free.school.zone.jpg