Stars hollow, shakespeare, and salacious activities

The town of Stars Hollow is a small, quiet town a few miles east of Big City. A theater company from Big City, Shakespeare and Skin (S&S), wants to open a nude theater in a vacant building in Stars Hollow Town Square. S&S plans to implement the following regularly scheduled programs:

  1. Semi-nude performances of Shakespeare plays every Wednesday and Saturday
  2. Stripper Sundays (nude dancing) 
  3. A bookstore that sells pornographic novels that do not contain any visual depictions

The mayor, Taylor Doose, wants to make sure that the theater is not permitted to open, because he is concerned about what such an establishment could do to the town. Stars Hollow has called a town meeting and asked your advice on how they should handle this situation. Please give a short response to each of the following questions.

  1. A local student, Rory, asks you whether the content of the Shakespeare performances is obscene (6 points).
    • How can you use the Miller Test to evaluate this (Hint: see page 156-158)?
  2. With regard to the bookstore, Kirk says that as long as the books don’t contain pictures, they cannot qualify as obscene, according to SCOTUS (3 points).
    • Is he correct? What case could provide some guidance (Hint: see page 159)?
  3. Sookie suggests passing a zoning law that regulates the location of adult entertainment businesses, but the townspeople aren’t convinced it will work (3 points each).
    • Would it be Constitutional to prevent adult establishments from opening within 1,000 feet of a school/residential area? Why or why not?
    • When it comes to this type of zoning law, what are secondary effects?
    • Hint: See pages 169-172
  4. Vocal supporter of Shakespeare and Skin, Miss Patty, requests that the local TV station show live broadcasts all Shakespeare & Skin performances. Mayor Taylor faints (2.5 points each).
    • Would the local broadcast television station be able to show the programming (see page 180-181)?
    • Bebbette suggests that the programming be shown on local cable instead, but the local cable operator, Gypsy, says she will block any channel that shows S&S content. Does Gypsy have the right to block this content (see p. 184)?
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