A group of baristas sued the city, claiming the ordinances that barred their lingerie-clad servers violated their constitutional rights. Photograph: (Instagram)
The baristas went to court to appeal against ban citing 'First Amendment violations'
A city court of Everett in Washington ruled in favour of lingerie-clad servers in baristas, a popular coffee chain Monday.
A judge hearing to the plea said that they should be allowed to serve coffee wearing their desired clothing or lack thereof.
The baristas have been involved in an ongoing tussle with the city since the month of August when officials passed two ordinances barring them from serving steaming hot beverages while scantily-clad. A group of baristas sued the city, claiming the ordinances violated their constitutional rights.
US District Court Judge Marsha Pechman took the sides of the baristas and said that Everett’s rules “are a likely void for vagueness under the Fourteenth Amendment and the ordinances otherwise fail to provide clear guidance and raise risks of arbitrary enforcement.”'
The ordinances in question prohibited exposure of “more than one-half of the part of the female breast located below the top of the areola” and “the genitals, anus, bottom one-half of the anal cleft, or any portion of the areola or nipple of the female breast.”
Finding references such as “anal cleft” to be not “reasonably understandable,” Pechman agreed that such ordinances violated the baristas’ right to free expression guaranteed by the First Amendment.
While putting the ban in place, the had blamed a “proliferation of crimes of a sexual nature occurring at bikini barista stands”.
It had further added in its complaint that they found evidence “relating to the adverse impacts of the conduct of bikini barista stands… dressing in a manner that is closely and customarily associated with adult entertainment or adult situations.”
Judge Pechman said it wasn’t her responsibility to comment on taste or decorum, concluding that: “While some customers view the bikinis as 'sexualized' to others, they convey particularized values, beliefs, ideas and opinions; namely, body confidence and freedom of choice. Moreover, in certain scenarios, bikinis can convey the very type of political speech that lies at the core of the First Amendment.”