Random Asides

Supreme court to examine vibrators

Yep, the media will soon be abuzz with the news: The supremes will review the case for banning vibrators in Alabama!

“The United States Supreme Court will review a Valley business owner’s case September 24. The issue: selling sex toys. A decision will come by October 1 whether the case will move forward or if the ban stands in Alabama.”

You might remember this issue from a post earlier this year. I can’t find any other news items–yet–confirming this story.

I also can’t decide if the thought of Scalia holding a vibrator is funny or squick-inducing.
Also, in other news: Psychics totally predicted 9/11 for the CIA (in 1986). BTW, Starstream says our “Spacetime Threat level” is severe.


Bug_girl has a PhD in Entomology, and is a pointy-headed former academic living in Ohio. She is obsessed with insects, but otherwise perfectly normal. Really! If you want a daily stream of cool info about bugs, follow her Facebook page or find her on Twitter.

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  1. Unfortunately, I gauge the likely outcome of this to be between bad to terrible. Bad is merely if the SC doesn't choose to rule on the case, which just leaves a dumb law intact. But terrible is if they do choose to rule on it, because with this current court, chances are quite good that they'll rule for the ban as a means of slowly chipping away at the foundation of rulings like Griswold: cases like this set the groundwork for something they are unlikely to do in one fell swoop.

  2. Ya know, even with a court as conservative as this, I have high hopes for this case. The only grounds that I can see for them NOT reversing the decision would be related to States' Rights… as in there's no reason why such decisions should be made at the Federal level.

    However, as this issue impacts businesses and individuals in a negative and anti-freedom way, the HOPE is that the court will say that a state does NOT have the right to disallow legitimate sale of non-harmful products simply because they disagree with the morality behind them. If we were talking simply about sex shops, it'd be one thing, as I don't think the courts have the power to FORCE States or Towns to allow sex shops. But in terms of simply being able to purchase the products at all, that seems more like an issue the courts can deal with.

    I'd say that's the best shot we've got at winning this one, and I hope that's where the lawyers will take it. If they try to take it towards being a "right to privacy" issue, I'd say the odds are much worse with a conservative court. Again, maybe I'm being too optmistic and aside from being conservative jurists when it comes to constitutional interpretation, the court will force religious morality NOT found in the constitution onto their decision. But I really hope not.

  3. You've all echoed my own fears quite well.

    I just can't see how we can even pretend to be guided by the constitution if this law stands. This is as plain a privacy issue as is possible.


    I'm sure FOX will spin it, if it does. They always sink to a new low. (Sorta like rising to the occasion, in reverse).

    I'm curious what Bill "…You should get a vibrator… I have one…" O'Rielly will say about it?

    Let's hope we never find out,


  4. The problem is that the legal rationale for constitutionally protecting a specific product, just because it is primarily used in private, is a very thin one. Governments, state and federal, already regulate all sorts of products and services, and the basis behind these regulations often require the same sort of delving into issues of moral judgement that the "ooo icky scary, Mother Mary would never use one!" I assume lies behind this law does.

    I'm not saying you have to buy the case, but there IS a legal rationale there for saying that the ban is a question for legislatures and that there is no special constitutional protection for selling or buying a particular product, just because it's used for sex. My point is that if the SC takes this case, and then rules the case on the basis I've outlined, that puts at risk a whole bunch of other things that, with just a few more incremental rulings, conservative legislatures might regulate… including even back to birth control. That's certainly a very real danger.

  5. Stupid law. Egad its so funny that it even exists, but sad all the same that it is enforced. You 'mericans are funny with your laws and such at times.

    I have pictures in my mind of bat up old trucks and men dressed like 1930s mobsters smuggling bouncing boxes of dildos and vibrators across the state boundaries while being chased by the G-Men.

    okay, back to reality ;)

  6. oh, that is hilarious! A dildo speak-easy!

    Thanks for sharing that.

    And 'mericans are totally crazy when it comes to sex. They all want to be surrounded by hot, sluttily dressed women, but god forbid you act on an urge it generates.

  7. Right, so you ban vibrators and they're gone. Then women will just start using the vegetable drawer (not the actual *drawer*, but the lengthy contents therein) again. So you ban produce – then what? The ladies will go back to fingers (or "strumming the hair-banjo", as we used to say in junior high) and we all know what that'll lead to: mittens. Legislated mittens to keep those nasty, dirty fingers out of God's Precious-Yet-Forbidden Baby Garden.

    It's a slippery slo…well, not exactly a "slope", is it?

  8. I'm a man and i still think outlawing vibrators is a crime against humanity…. or close to it. THAT'S FOR DAMN SURE!

    And the psychics predicting 9/11, i believe it. It's totally possible. Actually, i'm a psychic too! I'm predicting that i'm soon going to be eating a bowl of cereal while watching sunday afternoon television. Then after that God is going to come to me and impregnate me with the next messiah!

    What? It's plausible!

  9. I propose a new "scale" that gages how many unconstitutional rulings were made and how many years it will take succeeding governments to undo the damage an administration has caused.

    With an "exarch rating" of 1.0 for the average president, I think Dubya is now somewhere around a score of 6.8 exarch …

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