The city had tried to shut down exhibitionist site Voyeurdorm.com, which provides 24-hour live Webcasts of a residence full of women while they "study, work out, bathe and live the lives of college co-eds." The city said the Tampa residence violated city zoning ordinances regulating the location of sexually oriented businesses.
It's the second time a court has refused to consider the issue, paving the way for the Voyeurdorm to remain open for business. In November, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to grant a full-court hearing of the case.
The city had asked for the full court review after a three-judge panel of the court ruled that city ordinances do not apply to the Web site, which operates primarily in cyberspace.
Entertainment Network (ENI), which runs Voyeurdorm and other exhibitionist sites, praised the Supreme Court's move.
"This is a victory for anyone operating a legitimate Internet site, whether or not it has adult content," ENI Chief Executive David Marshlack said in a statement. "It is obvious that the Internet should not be regulated under zoning laws written long before the Web was even dreamed of."
ENI was also in federal court last year during an unsuccessful attempt to get permission to Webcast the execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
Tampa officials said a lower court may still issue a ruling on other parts of the case.
"The Court's determination not to hear this case does not mean the case is over," said Assistant City Attorney Jerry Gewirtz. Gewirtz said the city will abide by any court rulings.