Attorney General Mike Hunter today released a statement on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision regarding public nudity.
The ruling from the court addressed a Fort Collins, Colo. city ordinance that prohibited women from going topless in public, after two women sued the city in 2016, arguing that the rule violated their equal protection rights.
Hunter said the ruling does not automatically invalidate local and state laws in Oklahoma.
“The Tenth Circuit’s preliminary decision in the Fort Collins case – a case that has now ended without a full adjudication – does not change local and state laws in Oklahoma on the subject,” he said. “The majority of courts around the country that have examined this issue have upheld traditional public decency and public nudity laws. These courts have recognized that states and political subdivisions have a legitimate interest in prohibiting public nudity as traditionally defined.”
The 10th Circuit does, however, have jurisdiction over Oklahoma.
The ruling made preliminary conclusions about the Fort Collins ordinance, but did not decide the law’s ultimate constitutionality. Because the Fort Collins ordinance was repealed, the 10th Circuit’s ruling likely cannot be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The ruling is not binding on Oklahoma state courts, Hunter said.