Women want Supreme Court to overturn topless sunbathing ban

Dec 13, 2021, 11:47 AM | Updated: 11:54 am

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) — A group of women is going all the way to the top with their challenge of a beach town ban on topless sunbathing, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule against allowing men but not women to show all that skin.

Ocean City, Maryland, passed its ordinance in 2017 after one of the plaintiffs, Chelsea Eline, contacted local police and asserted a right to go topless, The Daily Times reported.

The three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled unanimously in August that the ordinance is constitutional, noting that courts across the country have upheld such measures. The court then denied a request to rehear the case.

Town leaders are within their rights to impose a restriction on women but not men in order to protect public sensibilities, Judge A. Marvin Quattlebaum Jr. wrote. Chief Judge Roger Gregory concurred, noting that U.S. Supreme Court precedent requires upholding the ban. But he suggested the court should reconsider the issue.

“At first glance, Ocean City’s ordinance seems innocuous enough. … But we must take care not to let our analysis be confined by the limits of our social lens,” Gregory wrote. “Suppose the ordinance defined nudity to include public exposure of a woman’s hair, neck, shoulders, or ankles. Would that law not run afoul of the Equal Protection Clause?”

The petition asks whether “protecting traditional moral sensibilities” is a governmental interest so important that it merits discriminating against all women. It urges the justices to declare that the ordinance violates the equal protection clause “because the discriminatory gender classification contained in the ordinance does not further an important governmental interest, and is not narrowly tailored to achieve its objective.”

This petition was filed Dec. 1, and the court has until Jan. 7 to respond, according to the U.S. Supreme Court docket.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

In this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell, right, is seated beside her attorney, Christian Everde...
Associated Press

Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years in prison

NEW YORK (AP) — Ghislaine Maxwell has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for helping the wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse teenage girls. The sentencing Tuesday was the culmination of a prosecution that detailed how Epstein and Maxwell flaunted their riches and associations with prominent people to groom vulnerable girls and then exploit […]
13 hours ago
FILE - A health worker administers a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination clinic at the ...
Associated Press

FDA advisers debate updating COVID booster shots for fall

Government advisers debated Tuesday if Americans should get a modified COVID-19 booster shot this fall — and exactly how best to update it to fight a virus that surely will change even more by then. “That’s the problem — we’re being asked to more or less have a crystal ball today,” said Dr. Arnold Monto […]
13 hours ago
FILE - The Instagram app is displayed on a computer on Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in New York.  Instagr...
Associated Press

Instagram hides some posts that mention abortion

WASHINGTON (AP) — Instagram is blocking posts that mention abortion from public view, in some cases requiring its users to confirm their age before letting them view posts that offer up information about the procedure. Over the last day, several abortion advocacy Instagram pages have found their posts or stories hidden with a warning that […]
13 hours ago
Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, arrives to testif...
Associated Press

Former aide: Trump was told protesters had weapons on Jan. 6

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cassidy Hutchinson, a key aide in Donald Trump’s White House, told the House committee investigating the violent Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection on Tuesday that Trump was informed that the supporters he addressed that morning had weapons but he told officials to “let my people in” and march to the Capitol. Trump demanded […]
13 hours ago
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz is shown at the defense table during jury...
Associated Press

Final jury selection begins in Florida school massacre trial

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The final phase in the selection of 12 jurors who will decide whether Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz should receive the death sentence got underway Tuesday, the conclusion of a nearly three-month effort that began with 1,800 candidates. The dozen jurors and eight alternates will be winnowed down from 53 […]
13 hours ago
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra speaks about actions the Biden administration pl...
Associated Press

Biden health secretary pledges medication abortion access

President Joe Biden’s top health official said Tuesday that “every option is on the table” when it comes to helping women access abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. But the administration’s options are limited despite its strong criticism of the Supreme Court’s decision Friday. Biden called the ruling […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Women want Supreme Court to overturn topless sunbathing ban