Amy Adler and an acclaimed theater group examine a provocative Supreme Court case

<em>Arguendo</em> panel (left to right): Seth Waxman, Amy Adler, John Collins, Jeffrey Toobin.

How did you observe Constitution Day? Amy Adler, Emily Kempin Professor of Law, marked it by participating in a panel discussion about nude dancing. The discussion took place at the Public Theater, just a few blocks from the Law School, and followed a benefit performance of the play Arguendo, created and performed by the highly acclaimed New York Theater company Elevator Repair Service (ERS). In Arguendo, actors offer a verbatim rendering of the oral arguments in Barnes v. Glen Theatre, a 1991 Supreme Court case which the Court considered whether a state law requiring adult-entertainment dancers to wear pasties and G-strings violated the First Amendment.

Last Fall, as Arguendo was in development, ERS Director John Collins and several actors visited Adler’s Free Speech class and spoke to students. Adler has written three articles that discuss the Barnes case: “Girls! Girls! Girls!: The Supreme Court Confronts the G-String”; “Performance Anxiety: Medusa, Sex and the First Amendment”; and “Symptomatic Cases: Hysteria in the Supreme Court's Nude Dancing Decisions.” Joining Adler on the post-performance panel were Collins, former solicitor general Seth Waxman, and CNN and New Yorker legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Posted on September 27, 2013

Homepage photo of scene from Arguendo: Joan Marcus