Bikini Baristas Case Is Over Anal Cleft Definition’s Vagueness
You may be aware that the city of Everett approved two ordinances that require "quick service" employees of restaurants to wear at least shorts and a tank top, and restricting how much of a person's anal cleft or a woman's breast can be exposed to the public.
Then a judge put the dress code on hold finding likely constitutional issues while being litigated:
The court finds that the citywide ordinance and the dress code ordinance are likely void for vagueness under the 14th Amendment. The term ‘bottom one-half of the anal cleft’ is not well-defined or reasonably understandable, and the ordinances otherwise fail to provide clear guidance and raise risks of arbitrary enforcement. The court finds that the dress code ordinance likely violates plaintiffs’ right to free expression under the First Amendment.
Well an Everett attorney argues any person of ordinary intelligence should know what anal cleft means and the scantily-clad bikini baristas ordinance is not unconstitutionally vague and should be allowed to stand:
Anal cleft is the same phrase used throughout the country in different jurisdictions and the meaning is not vague.
One judge pondered how law enforcement was supposed to determine where the bottom half of the anal cleft is, and how it is to be measured.
My guess is very, very carefully.
The baristas say their clothing is protected under First Amendment expressive conduct rules and the outfits, or lack of, say it makes them feel like empowered women who are making a body-positive statement. One coffee house owner said, "The message is this is not your mother's coffee house." Another judge shot back, "The message seemed more like 'I am sexually available.'"