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Texas AG Drops Adult Toy Case Appeal

Decision means adult toys now legal in Texas, Mississippi and Lousiana
Texas AG Drops Adult Toy Case Appeal
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Tuesday, Nov 4, 2008    Text size: 
AUSTIN, Texas — Thanks to the Texas attorney general’s decision to drop the appeal in the Reliable Consultants Inc. case, adult toy sellers are no longer peddling illegal products in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel let that fact be known in a two-page document dated Oct. 29, in which he wrote that Texas attorney general’s office has notified him by telephone that his office would not file a writ of certiorari — an appeal — in Reliable Consultants Inc. vs. Texas.

The three states comprise the jurisdiction of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal, where Texas would have filed the appeal if it decided to do so.

The case stemmed from Texas attorney general and his Travis County counterpart prosecution of Reliable Consultants Inc., operator of Dreamer’s and Le Rouge Boutique adult boutiques. They sought enforcement of state laws that prohibit commercial sale of sexual devices. The also named Jennifer Rasmussen, a Travis County resident and college student who hosted private parties for women at which she sold vibrators and other adult toys.

Attorney H. Louis Sirkin, who signed on to represent both Reliable Consultants and Rasmussen, sought for the court to declare the Texas laws unconstitutional — and won. The fact that Texas decided against appealing is validation of the “academic” strategy he chose to use, Sirkin told XBIZ.

“We attacked on the right of privacy and right to make choices with [the public’s] sexual stimulation,” Sirkin said. “It’s an academic decision based on academic facts. Our case was really an intellectual presentation.”

The strategy relied on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence vs. Texas, which decided that Texas’ law against sodomy was unconstitutional on the grounds that government can not intervene in people’s sex lives at their own homes.

Ultimately, the decision marks somewhat of a watershed moment for adult toy stores in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana, the states that fall within the court’s jurisdiction.

“The significance of it is that now in those three states people are free to sell those toys,” Sirkin said.

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