Judge rules taverns can ban Trump supporters
A Manhattan judge has ruled that a bar that ordered patron who was wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat to leave had a right to do so under the New York constitution.
The judge rejected Greg Piatek's argument that he wore his MAGA hat to pay "spiritual tribute" to 9/11 victims and was thus discriminated against for his religious beliefs. Instead, the judge cited the state constitution which does not bar discrimination based on politics.
“The purpose of the hat is that he wore it because he was visiting the 9/11 Memorial,” Piatek attorney Paul Liggierisaid in court Wednesday, according to the New York Post. “He was paying spiritual tribute to the victims of 9/11. The Make American Great Again hat was part of his spiritual belief.
“Rather than remove his hat, instead he held true to his spiritual belief and was forced from the bar,” Mr. Liggieri said.
A skeptical Judge Cohen wanted to know about the MAGA religion, the Post reported.
“How many members are in this spiritual program that your client is engaged in?” the judge asked.
“Your honor, we don’t allege the amount of individuals,” Mr. Liggieri replied.
“So, it’s a creed of one?” Judge Cohen asked.
“Yes, your honor,” the lawyer replied.
Judge Cohen tossed the case.
“Plaintiff does not state any faith-based principle to which the hat relates,” Judge Cohen said, calling the incident a “petty” snub.
“The claim that plaintiff was not served and eventually escorted out of the bar because of his perceived support for President Trump is not outrageous conduct,” the judge ruled.
Mr. Liggieri said his client is considering whether to file an appeal.
It was an idiotic argument and the judge was right to toss the case. But asking a patron to leave for his political beliefs may not be "outrageous conduct" to a New York judge, but what about the rest of us?
If a bar owner wants to offend a lot of potential customers, that's his business. But if the owner is free to kick people out because of their support for Trump, those who support Trump - or free speech - are perfectly free to picket the owner and urge customers to stay away.
Not that this is likely to happen in New York city. But if Trump opponents are going to get away with this sort of thing, it will get worse until the other side starts to push back.