Challenge to Idaho Code 23-614 Ends in Settlement

Posted at 10:53 PM, Oct 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-02 13:52:16-04

"Frankly Frankie" is the name Anne McDonald uses when she takes the stage for her burlesque act. Like a page out of a pulp fiction novel, court documents say two undercover police visited her show and bought an alcoholic beverage from a state-licensed venue, the Visual Arts Collective, in Garden City, Idaho.

Police said because the venue was licensed by the state to sell alcohol and because she was in violation of code 23-614. They moved to fine the venue $8,000 and suspend its license for 20 days.  

"My initial feeling was shocked," says Anne McDonald. "We've been performing here for 8 years, and it's just now coming up."

Five Idaho State Police officers were named in a counter-motion, naming them as individuals acting in their professional capacities. The motion said the code violated first amendment rights. The suit was settled within a few weeks.

"Because the parties agreed that the statutes that we have in place are very antiquated," said Leo Morales, Executive Director of ACLU-Idaho, "and it indeed prohibits and censors protected expression, both parties agreed on that. That's why it was settled so fast."

The ACLU says now there is an injunction against enforcing the code state-wide.

As to what this may mean for Idaho businesses in the future, Spearmint Rhino in Boise says they're looking into the situation.