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Monday, April 09, 2007 

Penn & Teller, Eugene Volokh, and Breasts

You read that right. This week's episode of Penn & Teller's Showtime series Bullshit is about women's breasts, breast feeding laws, and public nudity. When you've got a topic that is this wrapped up in legal issues, you're going to need an expert. Enter Prof. Eugene Volokh of the famous Volokh Conspiracy.

Penn & Teller had a few legal questions for Prof. Volokh. They wanted to know if exposing your breasts in public constitutionally protected expression, as argued by a woman on the show. Prof. Volokh said that First Amendment protection goes beyond mere speech and writing. It does cover some expressive speech like flag waiving or burning. So is this behavior protected too? Prof. Volokh said that breast exposing isn't usually in this category though. Most of the time, people who are exposing their breasts aren't trying to express anything. The laws that ban the behavior are in place because the behavior is seen as intrusive on unwilling viewers.

Showtime usually reruns the show a few times during the week, so keep your eyes open for it. It's worth watching if you're a fan of Penn & Teller, Prof. Volokh, or breasts.

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