DALLAS — A week after a federal appeals court sided with Exxxotica’s organizers and allowed its lawsuit to continue against the city of Dallas, the Dallas Morning News has published an editorial advising city leaders to settle the suit.
Exxxotica’s operators sued Dallas in February 2016, claiming the city violated its First Amendment rights by adopting a resolution banning the adult entertainment fan show as an impermissible use of a public facility under city code.
Exxxotica’s Dallas show in 2015 drew protests from city officials and church leaders on moral grounds.
Although Dallas’ city attorneys office at the time told its city council that banning Exxxotica 2016 might be unconstitutional, city leaders passed a resolution directing the city manager to reject a contract with Exxxotica for the lease of the Dallas Convention Center.
A federal judge dismissed the suit against the city on a technicality — the convention organizer lacked standing. The judge ruled Exotica Dallas – a subsidiary “ownership entity” of Exxxotica’s corporate parent, Three Expo — contracted with the city for the 2015 show and Three Expo hadn’t shown the resolution would stop the 2016 festival from happening.
The 5th Circuit, however, ruled that Exxxotica’s corporate parent established the elements required for standing on each of its claims, including a violation of its rights of freedom of speech, equal protection and freedom from bill of attainder.