Bikini baristas in Everett can stay, judge rules

The judge also found that the ban likely violates the First Amendment.

A federal judge granted Everett's bikini baristas a preliminary injunction, temporarily preventing the city of Everett from enforcing its ban on bikini barista stands.

In August, Everett's city council unanimously passed two ordinances that required baristas to cover “minimum body areas," effectively banning the scantily clad coffee stands.

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As a result of the ordinances, seven bikini baristas and the owner of a chain of coffee stands called "Hillbilly Hotties" sued the city in September.

In their lawsuit, the baristas argue that the ban passed by the city of Everett denies bikini-stand employees the ability to communicate through their attire, and is vague, confusing and unlawfully targets women.

The city argued that bikini barista coffee stands have a history of prostitution, sexual assault and masturbation, along with the exploitation of the bikini baristas.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman issued an order today that found the baristas were likely to succeed on the merits of their case as the bans were likely to be considered vague and in violation of the constitution's equal protection clause. The judge also found that the ban likely violates the First Amendment.

Barista Emilia Powell called the decision today a "big step for women."

Derek Newman, lead counsel representing the baristas, said that the decision means "women retain their right to dress as they see fit in Everett."

The injunction only temporary prevents the enforcement of the law as the case continues its way through the federal court system.