Overturning Prostitution Laws to Protect Individual Freedoms

Does Sex Sell?

Ask anyone in the marketing industry whether sex sells and the answer is almost always a resounding yes.  Ask someone in law enforcement, however, and the answer quickly becomes the opposite. In the United States there is an outright prohibition on the sale or solicitation of sex. As with all outright prohibitions, there is one exception; here, it is the state of Nevada. Nevada has had legalized prostitution for over a century. In fact, one brothel in Nevada has been in business since 1902. Every other state in the nation has fairly strict prostitution laws. In Louisiana, someone convicted of prostitution is required to register as a sex offender. In California, solicitation of sex is a felony. Two attorneys have filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco in hopes of changing these restrictions to reflect individual rights in the constitution.

The Attorneys

Lou Sirkin and Brian O Connor of Santen & Hughes are no strangers to separating morality from legislation. The two have stated publicly that morals, changing as they may from person to person, don’t have much of a place in the law. Legislation should not be determined by morality. In the past Sirkin worked to overturn a Texas law that made sex toys illegal and a Pittsburgh law that prohibited the sale of X-rated movies over the Internet. The two are currently representing plaintiffs who seek to have the current California prostitution laws overturned, out of the belief that individual rights in the constitution defend this form of solicitation.

The Setting

In the past the state of California has played somewhat of a home to the pornography industry. California is also the home of the infamous founder of Playboy Magazine, Hugh Hefner. Sirkin, explaining the setting of this case, stated, The timing is right on this one. We think we can win and sustain it.  Although the pair does believe this is the prime time for this case to be heard, they have also said that they anticipate the need to appeal the ruling to a higher court. A ruling in the plaintiffs favor would make the state the second in the country to have gotten rid of strict prostitution laws, legalizing it.

The Case Against Prostitution Laws

The plaintiffs represented in this suit are three current or former prostitutes and one man who is disabled in such a way that he wants to legally hire prostitutes. The organization represented is Erotic Service Provider Legal, Education & Research Project. The attorneys and their clients believe that the current prostitution laws are too stringent, violating individual rights in the constitution. In their pleading before the court, the plaintiffs argue that private sexual activity is a fundamental liberty that is protected by the Constitution. It’s an important issue of individual freedom in a country that prides itself on individual freedom. People might think were crazy but this would protect a lot of people, Sirkin said.

An Appellate Attorney

When seeking to overturn a major piece of legislation, especially one so prevalent across the country, it is in your best interest to seek an experienced appellate attorney. If you have been charged with solicitation, your criminal record, and possibly your freedom, hangs in the balance. Dont gamble with this; it is not worth the risk. If you have questions about appealing a criminal conviction, contact the criminal appeals attorneys at Brownstone Law today.

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