Judge: Company's removing strip club brochures from rest stop wasn't 1st Amendment violation


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TRENTON, New Jersey — A federal judge says a strip club did not have its First Amendment rights violated when its brochures were removed from New Jersey highway rest areas.

P.R.B.A. Corporation, which runs the Bare Essentials club in Atlantic City sued in 2012 after an employee of HMS Host Toll Roads ordered that its brochures be removed from rest areas on the Atlantic City Expressway and Garden State Parkway.

The club operator argued that it was a First Amendment violation to bar one brochure because of what it was promoting.

But the constitutional free speech protections apply only to government entities, not private companies like Host, which has a contract to run toll road plazas.

In a Feb. 6 ruling, U.S. District Judge Renee Bumb found that Host could legally remove the brochures.

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