Free the Nipple - Springfield Residents Promoting Equality; Jessica Lawson; Amber Hutchinson Plaintiffs - Appellants
City of Springfield, Missouri Defendant-Appellee
Submitted: February 13, 2019
from United States District Court for the Western District of
Missouri - Springfield
SMITH, Chief Judge, BENTON and STRAS, Circuit Judges.
the Nipple - Springfield Residents Promoting Equality and two
of its members, Jessica Lawson and Amber Hutchison
(collectively FTN), sued the City of Springfield, alleging
its indecent exposure ordinance violates the Fourteenth
Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. The district
court granted summary judgment to the City.
Free the Nipple - Springfield Residents Promoting Equal.
v. City of Springfield, 2017 WL 6815041 (W.D. Mo. Oct.
4, 2017). FTN appeals. Having jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1291, this court affirms.
August 2015, Lawson and Hutchison organized a protest to
raise awareness about Springfield's indecent exposure
ordinance. The protestors were topless, except for opaque
black tape covering their nipples. A month later, the City
Council enacted a stricter indecent exposure ordinance. FTN
sued the City to overturn it. In March 2016, the City
repealed the September 2015 ordinance and replaced it with
(a) No person shall engage in or commit any act of indecent
exposure or conduct in place open to public view.
(b) "Indecent exposure or conduct" shall include:
(1) The exposure of the male or female genitals, pubic area,
or the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering
of any part of the areola and nipple, or the showing of the
covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state.
(1) This section shall not prohibit performances of adult
entertainment in compliance with section 10-7.
(2) This section shall not regulate nudity when the conduct
of being nude cannot constitutionally be prohibited by this
section because it is otherwise protected by the United
States Constitution or Missouri Constitution.
(3) This section shall not prohibit a mother from
breast-feeding her child or expressing breast milk in any
public or private location where the mother and ...