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'Free the Nipple' Trio Appeal Laconia Case to SCOTUS

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Three women who were arrested for going topless at a Laconia beach in 2016 hope to take their case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The women are affiliated with the Free the Nipple movement. They’re appealing to the country’s highest court after the New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld their convictions earlier this year.

The state court said Laconia did not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution with its ordinance barring women from showing their nipples in public.

In their petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, lawyers for the women who were arrested disagree. They say the city’s law is inherently discriminatory on the basis of gender.

They also argue the Supreme Court should intervene because other state and federal courts have reached conflicting conclusions in similar cases in recent years.

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office, which would have to defend the state court's ruling on the case if the Supreme Court took it up, declined to submit a response to the petition. 

The justices will decide whether to hear the case before their next term begins in October.

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