The Cussin’ Ban Lives!
I wrote last week about St. Charles’ proposed ban on "indecent, profane, or obscene language, song[s], entertainment, literature, or advertising." Yesterday, Rachel Kaatmann reported that the city had abandoned its effort to implement the cussin’ ban.
Not so!! Instead, the city has engaged in some legal sleight-of-hand. Richard Veit, the councilmember who was sponsoring the amendment that would have adopted the ban, has modified both his story and the proposed ordinance. He now says that the cussin’ ban was merely intended to formally adopt regulations that have long been promulgated at the state level. To satisfy objectors, he removed the (ironically) offending language from the ordinance.
Veit was correct in that state regulations specifically, 11 CSR 70-2.130(13)(A) already include the cussin’ ban. The trick is that these regulations are only enforceable by representatives of the state government, unless local authorities adopt ordinances that would allow local enforcement. So how did Veit make sure that he could still hang on to the cussin’ ban? When he took the ban out of the text of the ordinance, he added section 115.32(A)(2)(g), providing for the revocation of a business owner’s liquor license if a proprietor allows behavior that would constitute a violation of "state regulations." Thus, St. Charles still fully intends to have the legal ability to punish bar owners who allow language, music, entertainment, etc., that might offend the sensibilities of some.
Very sneaky, Councilmember Veit. But we’re on to you.