NEW ORLEANS, LA (WAFB) - A federal judge has ruled in favor of exotic dancers who are trying to stop the law that sets age requirements for nude dancers in nightclubs that serve alcohol.
On Wednesday, US District Court Judge Carl Barbier granted a motion for a preliminary injunction, which was filed on behalf of the dancers. That means the state cannot enforce a law that would require exotic dancers to be 21 years or older to work in Louisiana.
Solicitor General Elizabeth Murrill released the following statement:
Harry Rosenberg, the lead attorney for the dancers, also released a statement:
Three women, including two from Baton Rouge, filed a lawsuit stating that the law is unconstitutional to require dancers to be over the age of 21.
"This is government overreach and it's a classic example," said state Rep. Kenny Havard, R-Jackson.
Havard, who came under fire last year for proposing an amendment to the bill to include a weight limit as well, said he wants to be clear that his measure was not meant to degrade women, but rather, drive home his point that government overreach, such as this law, has become a big problem in Louisiana.
"I'm regretful that it offended some people, but that wasn't the case. I was trying to make the point that government overreach has run amuck," Havard added.
Murrill said she is willing to work with the legislature to amend the measure, if necessary, in order to protect young girls from exploitation. It is something Havard said he would support, but believes there has got to be a better way than the current law.
"Human trafficking is a horrible issue in this state and we need to address it. I just don't think that was the piece of legislation to do so," Havard explained.
The new law was supposed to begin being enforced on October 1, 2016. The law was signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards on June 5, 2016.