The Revolution’s Here, Baby!

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Call out the instigators
Because there’s something in the air

I don’t know about you, but when I was in law school I wanted to change the world. Oh yeah, I was going to bring down the houses of corruption and fight tirelessly for our rights and for truth, justice and the American Way. I was going to be just like Tony Serra, Bill Kunstler, or at a minimum like either the James Woods or Robert Downey, Jr. characters from True Believer.I know I know, somehow I wound up authoring this crappy blog.

Anyways, my heart rose when I saw over at David’s site this wonderful vindication of all that we do as attorneys, a victory for our rights, for free speech, freedom of expression, and for the right to live our lives as we please.

Judge Cooke, you are a hero!

Did I mention it involves a gay porn webcam “dorm” in Edgewater:

Cocodorm.com features black and Hispanic men, known as ”dorm dudes,” who share a webcam-filled house together.

Miami has tried to shut the house down, arguing it constitutes an adult business illegally operating in a residential area. The city’s Code Enforcement Board in 2007 agreed, but Cocodorm responded to the code enforcement proceedings by suing in federal court.

From the outside, the Cocodorm house looks like any other residence. Those who want to see Cocodorm do so via the Internet, with a credit card. Last week, U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke sided with Cocodorm, basing her ruling on a previous case involving the city of Tampa and another adult website, Voyeurdorm.com.

Like Miami, Tampa tried to use its adult-business zoning laws to close the ”dorm” in question, in this case occupied by women.

But an appeals court, ruling in the website’s favor, found that Voyeurdorm’s customers weren’t gathering at the Tampa home — or anywhere else in Tampa. ”As a practical matter, zoning restrictions are indelibly anchored in particular geographic locations,” the appeals court wrote. With Voyeurdorm, the court added, ‘the public offering occurs over the Internet in `virtual space.’ ”

Judge Cooke found that the same logic applied to Miami’s Cocodorm. City legal staff tried to argue that wording differences between the Miami and Tampa ordinances meant the situations weren’t identical, but Cooke disagreed.

”This argument must fail,” Cooke, in her Jan. 27 ruling, wrote of the city’s defense. While acknowledging Miami’s ordinance did not contain the exact same language as Tampa’s, Cooke wrote “it is nonetheless its functional equivalent.”

Ok, so not everything’s the Pentagon Papers.