Posted: August 18, 2022
Tim Mullins

In my report to the Convention, I included that I was presented with a challenge by GAT team member Susan W. Shopiro. This deserves discussion here, so all AANR members know what we are facing moving forward. I’m using some of Susan’s comments here in my column.
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruling published on June 24, 2022, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, is troubling on several fronts for many. It is important to point out that the Right to Privacy doctrine used to support abortion protection is the same doctrine used to protect the Nudist/Naturist community.
The worst result of this ruling for us is the death of the stare decisis doctrine. Nothing is safe now. Stare decisis is the doctrine that courts will adhere to precedent in making their decisions. Stare decisis means “to stand by things decided” in Latin.
Nudists have long enjoyed the comfort of decisions previously made to build our arguments for further expansion of nude use areas. This Supreme Court does not appear to be hindered by precedent or the will of the majority. Nudists are entering into a troubling time where what has been considered a set law in the past may not bear well in the future.
During the monthly GAT Chat in July, AANR Executive Director Erich Schuttauf discussed the Sunshine Press v. Summerfield case. This is an important decision for AANR’s ability to share The Bulletin and other media with our members. Summerfield is newer than Roe v. Wade. Without the benefit of stare decisis one could see things that have been taken for granted for decades challenged and overturned.
It is more important than ever to be involved in local politics and to be sure individuals elected to positions of authority know nude use is a legitimate use of public land and private use of one’s own land in the nude is not a crime.
A few years ago, I was advocating for AANR to consider partnering with an organization to form a Political Action Committee (PAC) funded to push our agenda for nudist acceptance to the mainstream. While a PAC was not met with a positive attitude by many at that time, I still feel we need to have a method, much like the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) does, to put money where it will do the most to promote our agenda. Now is the time for us to look at our GAT defense funds and consider increasing what we set aside for court efforts moving forward. The shot has been fired across our bow.

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