In March 2016, the Idaho State Police sent undercover agents into the Visual Arts Collective to monitor a burlesque performance by acclaimed Idaho artist Frankly Frankie of Frankly Burlesque. Two months later, Idaho Alcohol Beverage Control threatened to revoke the Visual Arts Collective’s license to serve alcohol, citing an antiquated liquor law that prohibited women from revealing “any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola.”
We sued and, in a clear and swift victory against government censorship of artistic expression, the State agreed that Idaho liquor laws that bar constitutionally protected free expression will be permanently halted and not enforced by the Idaho State Police in artistic venues across the state, putting an end to censorship of art throughout Idaho. Under the terms of the settlement, the Idaho Legislature was required to permanently repeal the censorship provisions from Idaho law or face further litigation. The Legislature fixed the laws in 2017.