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    New York Times Editorial: The Courts and Privacy

    The New York Times has published an editorial about a case in Alabama (pdf) concerning privacy:

    The Alabama Supreme Court recently decided the case of 1568 Montgomery Highway Inc. — also known as Love Stuff — v. the City of Hoover. In a 7-to-2 ruling, it upheld a state law banning the sale of sex toys. The dispute may seem a bit frivolous, but it rests on a fundamental question: After the Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling striking down sodomy laws, how free is the majority to impose its morality through the law? […]

    Love Stuff, whose target clientele is women ages 32 to 52, was sued by Hoover for violating the state’s Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act. The store challenged the law’s constitutionality. The trial court upheld the law and Love Stuff appealed, invoking a line of United States Supreme Court cases recognizing a privacy right in sexual activity. […]

    “Public morality,” the [Alabama Supreme Court said in the Love Stuff case,] “can still serve as a legitimate rational basis for regulating commercial activity.” […]

    The issue could be headed to the United States Supreme Court […] It would give the court a chance to expound on important issues of privacy, morality and minority rights.

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