Supreme Court declines to hear 'Free the Nipple' case

The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from three women involved in the so-called Free the Nipple movement who were arrested for exposing their breasts in public.  

The women sought to challenge a city law in Laconia, N.H., that they argued amounted to unconstitutional discrimination on the basis of gender, part of a broader movement against indecent exposure laws. 

“They were arrested and prosecuted as women for doing what any man may lawfully do,” the challengers wrote in their petition to the Supreme Court. “For being both topless and female in public, each was convicted of violating an ordinance criminalizing the public exposure of her ‘female breast.’ ”


The decision to deny the appeal means the requisite four justices did not sign on to hear the petition. As is typical, the justices did not explain their reasoning, and there were no dissents from the denial.

The activists were arrested in 2016 for being topless on a beach and last year lost in the New Hampshire Supreme Court, prompting their appeal to the justices.

The case was Lilley v. New Hampshire.