Judge temporarily blocks Tennessee drag law
A federal judge in Memphis temporarily blocked a new Tennessee law that aims to restrict some drag performances.
Driving the news: U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Parker granted a temporary restraining order against the law on Friday, right before it was set to take effect.
- A Memphis theater company that features drag performances filed a lawsuit saying the law, which makes it a crime to perform "adult cabaret" in public or where minors could see it, violates the First Amendment.
Zoom in: "Adult cabaret" refers to "adult-oriented performances that are harmful to minors" under the state's obscenity code. The law says those performances might include "male or female impersonators."
What he's saying: Parker, a Trump appointee, wrote that the law appeared to be "vague and overly-broad."
- "If Tennessee wishes to exercise its police power in restricting speech it considers obscene, it must do so within the constraints and framework of the United States Constitution," Parker wrote.
- "As it stands, the record here suggests that when the legislature passed this Statute, it missed the mark."
What's next: The lawsuit is in an early stage. Parker's order prevents the law from taking effect until additional arguments are heard.
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