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Hillbilly Hotties Win First Round in Bikini-Barista Battle

"Bikinis can convey the very type of political speech that lies at the core of the First Amendment," writes federal judge.

Hillbilly Espresso/FacebookHillbilly Espresso/FacebookScore one for the Hillbilly Hotties espresso stand and its band of bikini baristas in Washington state. A federal judge ruled this week that the Everett-based business can stay open pending the resolution of its lawsuit against the city.

The suit, filed in September, challenges the constitutionality of new local laws that would effectively ban businesses like Hillbilly Hotties.

In a pair of August ordinances, Everett banned skimpy clothing at all quick-service food and drink venues (i.e., food trucks, drive-up coffee huts, and concession stands), forbidding workers from wearing sheer clothing or bikinis and from exposing shoulders, midriffs, lower backs, breasts, or the "bottom one-half of the anal cleft." The laws were largely aimed at the area's popular "bikini barista" stands.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman issued a preliminary injunction on enforcement of the new rules, finding that they are likely too vague to pass constitutional muster.

The term "bottom one-half of the anal cleft" isn't "well-defined or reasonably understandable," wrote Pechman, "and the ordinances otherwise fail to provide clear guidance and raise risks of arbitrary enforcement." The Court also found that the dress code "likely violates Plaintiffs' right to free expression."

"Choice of clothing is communicative," wrote Pechman. "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."

Photo Credit: Hillbilly Espresso/Facebook

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  • Hugh Akston||

    Bottom One-Half of the Anal Cleft was Crusty Juggler's nickname in college.

  • Finrod||

    I saw them open for the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band back in the day.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    But everyone just called him "Anal Cleft' for short.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    They were a big inspiration on one of my favorite bands.

  • The_Hoser||

    I was sure I was getting Rickrolled.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Damn right it was.

  • Mithrandir||

    Trying to mandate the type of clothing that a private restaurant allows their employees to wear.

    Nice work Washington. We expect nothing less.

  • ||

    Trying to mandate the type of clothing that a private restaurant allows their employees to wear.

    Washington? There are plenty of libertarians around here who don't give a fuck what the state compels a business to do as long as the goods/services are in stock or off-the-shelf and they're nominally doing it on behalf of a protected class. Which, if it means I can claim to be gay and walk into any ladies swimwear or lingerie store and compel the female salesperson or persons to model off-the-shelf items, I may have to rethink my stance against.

  • Zeb||

    Huh?

  • BYODB||

    He's saying that some of the 'libertarians' around here are cosmo and believe in extra-super-good protections for minority class citizens regardless of how onerous they might be to businesses. Which is pretty true, honestly.

  • Mithrandir||

    Source needed.

    I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just not here too frequently and haven't personally seen much of it.

  • ||

    Huh?

    Read the cake shop thread. Some 'libertarians' give PA a pass so long as the goods in question are mass produced, others give it a pass so long as the State is defending everyone except the merchant's rights equally.

    You say you're running a ladies swimwear store, I say it's a lesbian strip club and if you argue with me you're a Christian bigot who hates lesbians (but I repeat myself). PA and, apparently, some libertarians (not just Washington) appear to uphold my right to your business.

  • EscherEnigma||

    If you're talking about me, I'm not a libertarian.

  • Subpoena'd Woodchipper||

    Do you come here often? No one is as libertarian as everyone else at Reason, and many will argue ad infinitum who is more so

  • AtomicCowgirl||

    I assure you the dinkheads in Everett who passed local ordinances banning bikini baristas are not even "in air quotes libertarians." They are progressives who think everything we do needs to be controlled by the government.

  • brec||

    anal cleft

    How did I manage to spend so many years on this planet without encountering that phrase until just now?

  • juris imprudent||

    Perhaps you were familiar with it as the intra-gluteal minimum.

  • ||

    How did I manage to spend so many years on this planet without encountering that phrase until just now?

    Am I going to have to be the one to do this? Geez! Well, OK, 30% of male internet contributors are gay, the other 70% sing while posting. You don't happen to know what song they sing do you?

  • WuzYoungOnceToo||

    It's Raining Men....?

  • TGoodchild||

    Probably because "anal cleft" is inaccurate. It's supposed to be "intergluteal cleft," as the anus itself doesn't have a cleft.

    Washington State can't do anything right, aside from Palisade in Seattle and, of course, Bigfoot.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    as the anus itself doesn't have a cleft.

    It does if you're doing it right.

  • Subpoena'd Woodchipper||

    +10

  • Subpoena'd Woodchipper||

    Aka - the Booty crease = That separation of muscle from the glute and the hamstring. I'm at half mast just thinking about it

  • Bubba Jones||

    Took me a moment but I was translate. Rear cleavage is ok. String thongs not ok.

    I will google for more research on this...

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    God speed. Report back your findings.

  • Delius||

    I'm vaguely surprised that Washington State tried to shut them down because of the "Hotties" part, instead of for using "Hillbilly" as a class slur.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    No one gives a shit about hillbillies. No one actually gives shit about the poor in general unless they can be linked somehow to a class someone cares about.

  • The Laissez-Ferret||

    Very true! Just like when leftists talk about "minorities" they never mean Asians or Jews.

  • Radioactive||

    it's a slippery slope from the Bottom One-Half of the Anal Cleft to the entire Anal Cleft...NAKED BARISTAS...

  • WuzYoungOnceToo||

    it's a slippery slope from the Bottom One-Half of the Anal Cleft to the entire Anal Cleft

    Sure, if you're using lube.

  • Subpoena'd Woodchipper||

    She'll tell you when you've crossed the line, especially sans lube

  • ||

    forbidding workers from wearing sheer clothing or bikinis and from exposing shoulders, midriffs, breasts, lower backs, breasts,

    I'm going to try not to read too much into the fact that ENB really wants to make sure we know that the breasts will be covered but makes no mention of the crotch area.

  • ||

    OK, I failed;

    "Ensuring that the barista's shoulders, back, lower back, midriff, left breast, right breast, collar bones, and then back to her left breast, then her right again... ahem... er... will be covered that is."

    "I already told you once, get back in that barista hut and make me an espresso... did I say anything about covering your crotch?"

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Crotch is a terrible word, and I forbid its use on this blog.

  • ||

    The dyke, top ENB that lives in my head doesn't wear a mask and feel the need to play by your rules.

    As a nod to your sensibilities and decorum I initially was going to go with pudendum. But you never know who's head you'll go over and/or inadvertently out using language like that.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I prefer to have my coffee served by a miserable woman forcing a smile wearing a top hat, tailored suit coat and no pants who works under the constant threat of dipping her muff in a large americano.

  • Subpoena'd Woodchipper||

    How libertarian of you......

  • Chuck in CR||

    Leg pit?

  • EscherEnigma||

    I suspect Washington's laws against public nudity would stop that regardless of more specific legislation.

  • Subpoena'd Woodchipper||

    Please, "crotchel region" as some are much bigger than just "an area". And those women should cover their region, fully

  • Crusty Juggler||

    "Choice of clothing is communicative," wrote Pechman. "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."

    All bikinis are different and should be treated as such, which is why we need a force of federally funded bikini inspectors.

  • Vaelyn||

    We have that already, or haven't you been watching the news lately?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I stopped watching the news the second women framed an innocent man named Matt Lauer.

  • Gorbag||

    No no no. We need the endowment for the arts to cover bikini design and presentation. I'm kind of shocked that hasn't already happened.

  • juris imprudent||

    You know who else had a problem with the lower half of the anal cleft?

  • Conchfritters||

    That woman at the Minnesota State Fair that stopped to have her picture taken with Al Frankken? I think she is the only one.

  • Radioactive||

    would that be a G cleft?

  • Rhywun||

    Lemmiwinks?

  • Brandybuck||

    I have a problem with hemorrhoids in the bottom half of my anal cleft. I know you didn't want to learn that, but the truth must be told.

  • BYODB||


    Everett banned skimpy clothing at all quick-service food and drink venues (i.e., food trucks, drive-up coffee huts, and concession stands), forbidding workers from wearing sheer clothing or bikinis and from exposing shoulders, midriffs, breasts, lower backs, breasts, or the "bottom one-half of the anal cleft."


    So breasts are so inciting that they were banned twice? Or one ban for each boob?

  • Zeb||

    Breasts are always worth mentioning twice. Breastsises.

  • Brandybuck||

    Tits on a Ritz. Bet you can't eat just one!

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    The term "bottom one-half of the anal cleft" isn't "well-defined or reasonably understandable,"

    But fun to enforce. You'd take a measurement of what's visible, and then she would have to remove her bottom, since you'd have to measure the whole thing to be able to determine if what is visible is more than "one-half".

  • Brandybuck||

    I'm sort of imagining Everett cops using a ruler to measure the anal clefts of baristas. It's one of the perks of the job.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I don't know that they would use a ruler. They would probably use a "rule of thumb". Or fingers.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Curved surface. I think they'd need calipers.

  • operagost||

    You know what? No citation of the first amendment is necessary. If we're going to claim that the US Constitution supercedes the laws of the states and local government, the fact that the government has no right to regulate the clothing of employees apples. I'd like to see one of these little Himmlers explain how boobies and butts cause harm.

  • EscherEnigma||

    May I refer you to another ENB article, Women's Boobs are Not Free Speech†?

    So go have fun. Quite a few of commentators over there have issues with "boobies and butts".
    ________
    †Hopefully the link works. If not, you got the author and the title, you should be able to find it.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

  • L.G. Balzac||

    I am confused about why the UPPER one-half of an anal cleft would apparently be OK to view? Isn't it the same as the lower half, only inverted?

  • Subpoena'd Woodchipper||

    What if they serve doing handstands? Does the upper become the lower, and the lower the upper? I'm so confused now

  • EscherEnigma||

    Hrm...

    I'm of two minds on this. On one hand, the state shouldn't be in the business of telling people what to wear†.

    On the other, I'm concerned that requiring your employees to be over-exposed in a business where they regularly handle scalding hot drinks is inviting disaster.

    Either way, the state should lose. If there's going to be any regulations regarding what baristas have to wear, it should be from a workplace safety stance, and not a public morality stance. And frankly, we can take a "wait and see" approach to the workplace safety concern and see if these buisnesses are good-faith actors before stepping in‡.
    ________
    †Yes, I think public casual nudity should be legal. You can have a law against public sexual behavior without banning nudity.
    ‡Before anyone says that workplace safety regulations aren't libertarian: I'm not a libertarian.

  • Malvolio||

    First, even if you don't think public nudity should be legal, this isn't public. Indeed, the city government's actual motivation is to crack down on not on bikinis, but on prostitution, but the situation is private, so they cannot tell when or if prostitution is going on.

    Second, this is why you should be a libertarian. You think (or claim to think) it's a safety issue, but of course, you have no information about whether you are safer to have boiling water spilled directly on your skin, where it will mostly bounce off and the remainder can be quickly rinsed off, or safer to have it spilled on clothing, which will trap the liquid in place, right next to your skin. You are simply making that call because it seems reasonable to you, without even asking if it's reasonable for you to rely on someone (you) who knows nothing about the situation.

    The baristas, of course, have the option of dressing however they like; they -- who of course have long experience with spilled hot liquids -- have elected to dress that way weighing the costs and the benefits.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "Second, this is why you should be a libertarian."
    No. I have too many issues with libertarian *philosophy* and libertarian *people* to ever use that label for myself.

    That said, you misrepresented what I said pretty hardcore. I said that it *should* be a safety issue, not the moral issue it is.

    And that as a safety issue, they *should* play "wait and see" rather then preemptively trying to fix a problem that may not develop. I did not make any "call".

  • Subpoena'd Woodchipper||

    I'm pretty certain that "having issues with libertarian people" is the first sign you ARE a libertarian, or at the very least, a Reason commenter. Are you new here? To throw down the gauntlet: you are more libertarian than me.

  • Cloudbuster||

    This article needs way more photos of bikini baristas. I mean ... for the civil rights.

  • tlapp||

    Just hire one overweight woman and these same people will say such laws are body shaming tactics. Not hard to tie the freedom haters into knots with their own twisted ideas.

  • Thomas O.||

    Hey, chubby chasers need their eye candy too!

  • Subpoena'd Woodchipper||

    Does she put out?

    Asking for a friend....

  • Think It Through||

    More pics less text.

  • WuzYoungOnceToo||

    You can have my bikini-clad baristas when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.

  • Amazing Larry||

    Will be easier than prying something from your cold, smelly anal cleft.
    You have strong gluts, that's all im saying.

  • JohnKing||

    "I'd like two lumps with my coffee!"

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