Nudists Get Their Day in Court

The lawsuit by San Francisco nudists challenging a city ordinance banning walking on city streets naked has been hanging by, well, a thread for a couple years.  But on Christmas eve, the nudists got a gift from federal Judge Edward Chen.

He had previously tossed out their lawsuit but on Dec. 24 he allowed the nudists to challenge two specific instances in which police targeted the nude protesters at City Hall.

Chen dismissed the rest of their amended lawsuit.

The group challenged a November 2012 law that banned “genital exposure” on all city sidewalks, parks, plazas and sidewalks, with the exception of permitted gatherings such as Gay Pride Parade and the Folsom Street Fair and the Bay to Breakers foot race.

The nudists sued contending the law infringed their right of personal and political expression under the First Amendment.  Chen dismissed the lawsuit in 2013 but the group submitted an amended version.

Chen dismissed most of the revised version on Dec . 24, but did agree to allow the lawsuit to proceed in the two instances when nudists were targeted by police, which the group argued was selective targeting to suppress their political views.

The nudists will face trial on the issue in federal court in early 2015 and the city will have the opportunity to defend the ordinance.

Taub v. City and County of San Francisco, No. 12-5841EMC

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