Breasts, the First Amendment, and Journalists Playing Telephone

On Monday, the Seattle City Council passed an ordinance to protect breastfeeding mothers from discrimination in public accommodations. The ordinance got a write-up in the Seattle Times, which contained the following description:

The ordinance will allow mothers to breast-feed at any time, place or manner, making it illegal for restaurant or store management to tell them to leave or to cover the baby with a blanket or towel.

Next thing you know, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog had picked up the story, though it chose a somewhat strange hook for its post. Under the headline “Your Right to Tell Her to Cover Up?” the WSJ viewed the issue as a First Amendment question: By making it illegal to tell someone to “cover up,” does the law constitute an unconstitutional “prior restraint” on speech? Continue reading