Land Use Law & Zoning Digest
zoning, pornography, freedom of speech
Since the Supreme Court's 1976 decision in Young v. American Mini Theaters, Inc., 427 U.S. 50 (1976) local governments have been permitted to single out adult bookstores and theaters for special regulatory treatment.' In the wake of Young, many municipalities enacted "pornography zoning" ordinances based on the Detroit dispersion model. Observing this trend in 1978, the Harvard Law Review noted that these municipalities were interpreting Young as approving pornography zoning as constitutionally acceptable "in nearly all circumstances." 2 This interpretation seemed incorrect, however, to the Review's editors: "Detroit's pornography zoning was found to satisfy three established First Amendment criteria; future ordinances that restrict the location of adult bookstores and theaters will likely be subject to these criteria as well."' A number of recent lower court cases invalidating pornography zoning ordinances indicate that the Review's prediction was on target.
Weinstein, Alan C., "Regulating Pornography: Recent Legal Trends" (1982). Law Faculty Articles and Essays. 1060.