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New Tenn. AG issues opinion on adult themed businesses

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Attorney General Herbert Slatery says in his first legal opinion since taking office that Tennessee can continue to restrict the hours that adult-oriented establishments are open.

The opinion released Monday relies on a 1998 ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld restrictions on the hours a Knox County adult bookstore was open. The court maintained government had a "substantial" interest in the reduction of crime and solicitation of sex, and in seeking to preserve the "aesthetic and commercial character" of surrounding neighborhoods by restricting adult businesses.

Slatery acknowledged that that ruling stands in contrast to a January decision in the neighboring 7th Circuit that found the city of Indianapolis failed to demonstrate that its restrictions on hours for adult stores reduced crime.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up an appeal of the Indianapolis case this month.