Footloose In The Big Appleby Doug Mataconis
Picture yourself at a swanky bar in New York City. It’s about 1am and there’s a jazz trio in the far corner playing something romantic. Sounds nice, huh ? Well, you better not be thinking about taking your partner’s hand and getting up and dancing, because it’s illegal to dance in a bar in New York City:
(CBS/AP) NEW YORK You can listen to the music in a New York City bar, but you better not begin tapping your feet because it could lead to dancing.
A state appeals court ruled that an 80-year-old law banning dancing in New York City bars, restaurants and certain clubs is legal.
The state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division ruled that the city’s Cabaret Law permits dancing only in places that have a license.
The Gotham West Coast Swing Club and several people filed a lawsuit complaining that because the Cabaret Law barred them from dancing with other people, it illegally infringed on their right of free expression.
The appeals court disagreed, saying recreational dancing is not a form of expression protected by the federal or state constitutions.
It isn’t mentioned in the linked story, but a story about the same case from last year provides what the city claims is justification for what any sensible person would consider an insane law:
City law department spokeswoman Kate Ahlers said the judge’s ruling was “a confirmation of the city’s efforts to protect residential communities from disruptions attributed to some cabarets.”
That’s the Nanny State for you. Protecting you from all that is evil about the tango.
H/T: Radley Balko