Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Giuliani cracked down on dancing?

Well, I suppose this might win him back some of the social conservatives he lost after his tepid support for revoking Roe v. Wade. It gives the big city mayor a bit of small town charm:
Mayor Giuliani, fellow citizens will recall, actually cracked down on dancing in bars, availing a disused Prohibition-era law. There is some dispute as to whether he did this as part of a crusade against underage drinking, or just because he's a miserable son of a bitch. But yeah,Giuliani does indeed seem to believe that what he doesn't like should be banned.
Here are the details:
August 23 - 29, 2000

In recent years, the mayor has waged a war on dancing, and we're not just talking about the topless kind.

He's armed himself with the cabaret law, which bans dancing in nightclubs that lack a cabaret license. The law was originally designed to crack down on Prohibition-era speakeasies and Harlem jazz clubs, but had lain dormant for over 70 years. That was until Giuliani's administration dusted it off about four years ago and began enforcing it against legal nightclubs.

The cabaret law originally restricted not only dancing, but also music: Specifically, it required a cabaret license for bars where more than three musicians were playing, or where the instruments played included percussion or a horn.

New York University law professor Paul Chevigny speculates that the law was written to zone jazz out of existence. Twelve years ago, he successfully challenged the constitutionality of the portions of the law that applied to music.
h/t Tapped

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