NCAC Censorship News Issue #68:
The challenge to New York City’s new zoning law has now reached the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court (Hickerson v. NYC). The ordinance restricts access to adult entertainment establishments—bookstores, video stores, theaters and clubs devoted to sexually explicit but constitutionally protected fare. The legislation is troubling because it is broad enough to zone to remote locations not only a “peep show” but a smash show like Oh! Calcutta! or a gallery exhibit focusing on nudity in art. The law was upheld without a trial to test the city’s claim that it is justified because of the “secondary effects,” an alleged increase in crime and noise.