Regardless of what happens, Fort Collins women’s topless rights will be in the hands of judicial activist Neil Gorsuch
Fort Collins, Colo. — Women in one Centennial State city already have their Constitutional rights at stake, regardless of whether Neil Gorsuch is appointed to the stolen US Supreme Court seat or he is rightfully filibustered and stays in the Tenth Circuit Court.
Gorsuch is currently a judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and as a senior member, he has a very high likelihood of hearing the lawsuit we at Aiken Area Progressive will call Brittany Hoagland and Samantha Six vs. Fort Collins.
To begin the month of June, Free the Nipple helped the aforementioned women file a federal lawsuit against Fort Collins over the city’s unconstitutional ban on public nudity. The 2016 ordinance granted special rights to breastfeeding mothers and thus, immediately triggered a violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution, and the new ordinance also triggered violations of the Colorado Constitution and a 2012 Colorado state law that expressly prohibits municipalities from creating and enforcing any new anti-nudity laws that are more stringent than state law. The state allowed for older ordinances, such as the one Fort Collins had in place prior to modifying it, to be enforced.
NOTE: The pre-2016 Fort Collins public nudity ordinance banned breastfeeding in public places, even as the state had protected the practice under state law years earlier. That law was still allowed to be enforced as no one was discriminated against and no lawsuit had been filed against the older ordinance. The old ordinance had placed Fort Collins with the likes of Daytona Beach; Myrtle Beach; Oak Island, N.C.; and Brunswick, Ga. among other predominantly Southern cities with a ban so stringent. (In each of the four Southern cities mentioned, breastfeeding in public is a criminal offense even though each state protects breastfeeding under their respective state law.)
As many have pointed out on Twitter, Mr. Gorsuch is absolutely no friend of equal rights, civil rights or religious liberty. Mr. Gorsuch ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby’s right to discriminate against their female employees under the false guise of protecting their Christian beliefs. With that in mind, Mr. Gorsuch is very unlikely to give Nudists their religious freedom to refuse to wear clothes and refuse to abide by unconstitutional laws and ordinances prohibiting public nudity (looking at Indiana, Utah and the City of North Augusta). And yes, Nudists do in fact have religious liberty under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 – and unlike denying women birth control pills, simply being butt naked in public in plain view of others harms absolutely no one!
No matter what becomes of Gorsuch, a judicial activist who legislates from the bench, for Fort Collins women: it’s damned if you do (he’ll hear the case when it comes to the Supreme Court, should the Senate be derelict in their duty to keep him off the bench) or damned if you don’t (he’ll hear the case in the Tenth Circuit Court as soon as this year if he’s filibustered off the Supreme Court bench).