Supreme Court Denies Request To Reinstate Florida Drag Show Law


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.

The U.S. Supreme Court turned down Florida’s request on Thursday to partially overturn a judge’s order that stopped the state from enforcing a new law that says minors can’t go to drag shows.

The majority of the court agreed with the decision not to give Florida the stay it asked for in October. According to a joint opinion by Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the court probably wouldn’t fully review the case.

A restaurant chain called Hamburger Mary’s sued the state of Florida this summer, saying that a new law called Florida’s Protection of Children Act was too broad and violated the First Amendment right to free speech.

Since Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the law in May, no one is allowed to knowingly let a child into an “adult performance.” According to DeSantis, drag shows make kids sexual.

CBS News reported:

At issue in the case is the Protection of Children Act, which Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law in May. DeSantis is seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and has billed himself as a champion of “parental rights,” an issue that has grown in prominence among the GOP presidential field.


The law prohibits any person from knowingly admitting a child to an “adult live performance,” which is defined as a show that “depicts or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or specific sexual activities” and is “patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community” regarding what is suitable for the age of the child in attendance.

Gregory Presnell, a judge in central Florida appointed by former President Bill Clinton, granted the restaurant chain’s request for it in June and enjoined the state from enforcing the law.

According to Presnell’s decision, drag shows may be offensive to some people, but they aren’t always obscene.

“Existing obscenity laws provide [the state] with the necessary authority to protect children from any constitutionally unprotected obscene exhibitions or shows,” Presnell wrote. “The harm to [Hamburger Mary’s] clearly outweighs any purported evils not covered by Florida law and a preliminary injunction would not be adverse to the public interest.”

A divided panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals turned down the state’s request to stay Presnell’s decision.

In October, Melanie Griffin, who was secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, asked the high court for a temporary stay while an appeal was prepared.

According to Jeremy Redfern, a spokesman for the DeSantis administration, the governor’s office is upset about the decision but believes the 11th Circuit will uphold the law on its own merits.

“As long as the district court’s preliminary injunction remains in place, Florida is powerless to enforce a law its elected representatives have enacted for the protection of its children,” Attorney General Ashley Moody told the court in her request.

The restaurant said that many of the artists who perform there also work in other places across the state and would have to cut down on their shows elsewhere to avoid breaking Florida’s law if the injunction only applied to Hamburger Mary’s.

“HM’s establishment would become the only business in the State of Florida where performers have the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the First Amendment,” lawyers for Hamburger Mary’s wrote. “A stay would chill creative competition and public conversation through performance art.”

Separate from this case, the U.S. Supreme Court has been a thorn in President Joe Biden’s side, ruling frequently against his agenda. However, the Supreme Court appears poised to derail Biden’s plans to move the country to the far left even further.


For example, Biden’s plans to tax ‘the rich’ could be scrapped soon after the Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that Biden’s $430 billion-plus student loan forgiveness was unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, the Court will hear a number of cases this fall that offer promising chances to restrain the federal administrative state.

The court has agreed to hear cases that question the constitutionality of a way for agencies to get money that is not subject to the appropriations process or regular oversight by Congress.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top