U.S. District Judge Karl Forester has refused to dismiss a lawsuit that the sex boutique’s manager, Jimmy Flynt, had lodged against the Lexington council.
The suit, which was filed on July 23, contends that the city is violating Hustler Hollywood’s constitutional rights. The Lexington board of adjustment had passed a zoning ordinance that bars adult-oriented venues from operating near Fayette County’s interstate highway exchanges. The Hustler Hollywood in question is located near the Interstate 75 exchange.
Judge Forester issued a stay in the federal case. This is a blow to the city, which has asked the federal judge to toss the case out of court. Therefore, while the Flynt-filed suit is not currently active on the U.S. District Court’s docket, it can be reinstated.
Hustler Hollywood’s lawyers had sought the right to reinstate the case at the federal court level. In July, attorneys for both the defense and plaintiffs had agreed to deal with the constitutional issues in two cases that are pending before Kentucky’s state courts.
On July 29, Lexington filed a criminal complaint against Hustler Hollywood in Fayette County District Court. The city alleged that the adult retail chain had violated the zoning regulation by selling sexually-explicit merchandise.
The Kentucky state court is also considering Hustler Hollywood’s suit against the city’s board of adjustment after it turned down the boutique’s application to sell adult products.
Jimmy Flynt’s federal case is the latest in a long line of Hustler-related free expression court battles. The Milos Forman 1996 mainstream Hollywood movie “The People Vs. Larry Flynt” depicted the free speech crusade of Jimmy’s brother that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Hustler publisher Larry Flynt prevailed in that case over the religious rightwinger Rev. Jerry Falwell.
In related news, Hustler Hollywood will shortly open its first retail outlet overseas at Birmingham, England. Larry Flynt is also continuing his book tour and recently promoted his new book “Sex, Lies, & Politics: The Naked Truth” in Kansas City, Mo. And following Flynt’s interview two weeks earlier on the leftwing Pacifica radio network’s “Democracy Now” program, on Aug. 17 feminists, including sex columnist and author Susie Bright, debated Larry Flynt’s sexual politics.