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Old 26 April 2018, 02:21 PM
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Judge Judge: Bar can refuse service to Trump supporter wearing MAGA hat

I shortened the title; the original is:

Judge rules New York City bar can refuse service to Trump supporter wearing MAGA hat

Quote:
A Manhattan judge ruled Wednesday that kicking a Trump supporter out of a bar does not violate the law — because the law does not protect against political discrimination.
I found this final paragraph interesting - info omitted in other sites' coverage of the case:
Quote:
The Happiest Hour denied that Piatek had been removed in the first place, stating Piatek “was sufficiently pleased with his service at the bar [and] that he added” a $36 tip onto the $186 tab, according to the New York Post. The bar owners suggest Piatek’s lawsuit was a “publicity stunt.”
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  #2  
Old 26 April 2018, 03:08 PM
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A fairly expensive publicity stunt, as it turns out.

Seaboe
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  #3  
Old 26 April 2018, 03:38 PM
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I wouldn't be surprised if he set up a GoFundMe type account to get support from other Trump supporters in his great battle against the liberal elite.
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  #4  
Old 26 April 2018, 04:33 PM
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The story's kind of confusing.

Was the bar's defense that it didn't happen, or that they did throw him out, and for that reason, but that it's a legal reason? The story seems to be claiming both of those things. I don't know whether the bar claimed both of them in court -- Your Honor, we never did that, but we reserve the legal right to do so! I suppose they might have; in which case, it seems that both sides were trying to make a point.

On the one hand, I think they can indeed refuse service for any reason other than being a member of a protected class. And I'm pretty sure they can refuse service for not meeting a dress code -- it's entirely legal to be barefoot on the street, but lots of businesses will deny service to the shoeless. But on the other hand I'd be at a minimum pretty disconcerted if I were refused service by a business generally open to the public because of, say, wearing a Tshirt saying 'I can't believe I'm still protesting this stuff*!' -- and I'd be very disconcerted if it weren't a bar denying service, but a drugstore or a grocery. Especially if it were the only drugstore or grocery in town.




*although admittedly when I look up that tshirt the word in there is usually not "stuff".
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  #5  
Old 26 April 2018, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Was the bar's defense that it didn't happen, or that they did throw him out, and for that reason, but that it's a legal reason? The story seems to be claiming both of those things. I don't know whether the bar claimed both of them in court -- Your Honor, we never did that, but we reserve the legal right to do so! I suppose they might have; in which case, it seems that both sides were trying to make a point.
Actually, it's pretty close to S.O.P.: lawyers often make tiered arguments such as "Your Honor, my client cannot be found guilty of this offence because he is not a resident of this state, and the law clearly only applies to residents. However, if you find that the law DOES apply to non-residents, he's still not guilty because he has proof he wasn't there at the time. But even if you find that this evidence is insufficient to prove his whereabouts, he's still not guilty because there is no evidence linking him to the alleged crime."

In this case, proving they had the right to throw him out would be a stronger argument than "we didn't do that", even if they didn't do that.

Personally, I am not a fan of the right to refuse service, and despite my disgust whenever I see a MAGA hat, I wouldn't even think of kicking the guy out of a place I ran.
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  #6  
Old 26 April 2018, 05:22 PM
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I think the bar was arguing "we didn't throw him out, and even if we had it wouldn't matter because it would have been legally valid to do so."
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  #7  
Old 26 April 2018, 07:29 PM
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What I got from the article is that his complaint stated he'd been kicked out in violation of his first amendment rights. The bar had to respond to this argument, which it did by saying 1) we're a private business and the first amendment only applies to government actions; and b) he wasn't kicked out, as you can see by the fact he spent $182, plus a $36 tip, indicating he was satisfied by the service he received.

Seaboe
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  #8  
Old 26 April 2018, 08:17 PM
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It doesn't look like they even got as far as an evidentiary hearing. I imagine the bar demurred, essentially saying "we don't need to have an expensive trial with a jury and testimony about whether or not this happened, because even if it did, it's not illegal." The judge can rule on that and dismiss the case before the legal bills pile up. If the judge ruled the allegations, if true, would state a claim on which relief could be granted, then they'd move on to the question of whether they were true. The bar saying it's not true is probably about PR concerns (Trump supporters can still choose to take their business elsewhere), not part of the legal case.
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  #9  
Old 26 April 2018, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasFink View Post
Personally, I am not a fan of the right to refuse service, and despite my disgust whenever I see a MAGA hat, I wouldn't even think of kicking the guy out of a place I ran.
I try to keep politics as much as possible out of my marketing entirely.

-- I sell at farmers' markets in an area with, how shall I put this, an overall strong red lean but a very great deal of diversity of opinion. If I refused customers when I don't like their hats or tshirts, I'd get myself -- and probably the markets -- into a great deal of trouble, even presuming that no courts got involved.

Plus which, I don't think it's a good idea. Even if I could get away with it without any repurcussions, I wouldn't refuse service to anybody on such grounds. If the person started harassing another customer, that would be a different matter entirely; but so far I've never had that happen.
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Old 26 April 2018, 08:56 PM
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The day after our federal election a few years ago I was in my local Starbucks and was treated to hearing one of the baristas going on and on about how awful it was that the Liberals had been elected. She didn't seem to realize, or care, that not everyone in the restaurant shared her POV or that even if they did they had not come into Starbucks to be treated to a political diatribe!
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  #11  
Old 26 April 2018, 11:52 PM
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Here's an article with links to the original complaint and the defense's motion to dismiss. It looks like the bar did argue both failure to state a claim and that the allegations were untrue, but it sounds like the judge ruled on the first issue without reaching the second.
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  #12  
Old 27 April 2018, 01:30 PM
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Now my cousin is using a pretty mis-read version of this as proof that the big enemies of freedom are liberals, and that this totally violates the First Amendment but liberal judges allow that for people to attack conservatives, so we need to throw those damn liberal judges out of office! When I pointed out that actually NONE of that was true, he let me know quite clearly how wrong I am.
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  #13  
Old 27 April 2018, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasFink View Post
Personally, I am not a fan of the right to refuse service
You do realize that reserving that right also allows establishments to throw out people who are threatening or dangerous, don't you?

I believe they should always have the right to refuse service to people who cause a disturbance. I'm not so sure they should have the right to refuse service to someone because they don't like what they're wearing (a MAGA hat, a turban, brown skin).

Seaboe
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  #14  
Old 27 April 2018, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
I believe they should always have the right to refuse service to people who cause a disturbance. I'm not so sure they should have the right to refuse service to someone because they don't like what they're wearing (a MAGA hat, a turban, brown skin).
I'd say they should have that right.

Not the right to keep out black Americans. But I like dress codes.

I used to go to a nightclub with a dress code (no hats, no sneakers, no athletic gear, collared shirts for gentlemen, and an enhanced dress code on certain nights with no jeans). My cousin who's in the biz tells me that a dress code sends a message about the type of conduct that's expected there, and people who go to a place where there's a dress code are less likely to cause trouble.

Thanks.

Bill

Last edited by Bill; 27 April 2018 at 06:27 PM. Reason: added athletic gear
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  #15  
Old 27 April 2018, 06:31 PM
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I can think of other situations were I'd want business owners to have that right. What if someone is wearing a shirt with the F or N word all over it, or with an image depicting sex and/or violence?
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  #16  
Old 27 April 2018, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill View Post
....
I used to go to a nightclub with a dress code (no hats, no sneakers, no athletic gear, collared shirts for gentlemen, and an enhanced dress code on certain nights with no jeans). My cousin who's in the biz tells me that a dress code sends a message about the type of conduct that's expected there, and people who go to a place where there's a dress code are less likely to cause trouble....
That's sounds like a dress code that is designed to fill the club up with white people who aren't disadvantaged.
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  #17  
Old 27 April 2018, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
That's sounds like a dress code that is designed to fill the club up with white people who aren't disadvantaged.
I don't agree.

I don't think it's asking much to ask a white person or a person of any race to throw on a shirt, a pair of pants, and a pair of shoes.

I don't see where being "disadvantaged" or "advantaged" comes into it.

Thanks.

Bill
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  #18  
Old 27 April 2018, 07:16 PM
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The turban and the brown skin both come under protected classes, don't they?

And I think Lainie's got a good point about the possible language/artwork on tshirts etc.; though I wouldn't extend that (and I don't assume that Lainie meant to) to MAGA hats, or pussy hats, or other political wear that's not blatantly hate speech or containing one of the few remaining semi-prohibited words.

As far as dress codes for places like night clubs or fancy restaurants, I think that's up to the establishment, as long as they're posted and fairly applied. I'd be upset if the drug store or similar establishments started requiring fancy wear, and more so if it were gendered; but I don't think it's unreasonable for them to require shirt, shoes, and something resembling pants or skirt. (We tend to not think of forbidding nakedness as a dress code; but it is, of course.)
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  #19  
Old 27 April 2018, 07:19 PM
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Generally agreed with Bill and Lanie, but dress codes should be explicit and not capriciously enforced or used as an excuse. Two anecdotes:

I once told a friend about a place we could go, but warned him he may not meet the dress code because of his somewhat worn jeans and casual sweatshirt over his regular buttoned shirt. When we got there he was deemed okay, but they wouldn't let me in because I was wearing a button-front shirt that had a neckband, but technically not a collar. This was the same style of shirt I wore the last time I was there, when people dressed like my friend were being turned away.

More recently I was at a Dave and Buster's type of place (it actually is a Dave and Buster's now) and had to go out to the car to get something. When I came back, some people who had done the same - i.e. they were in the place for hours and left their group for for a minute to go outside - were denied reentry because they didn't meet the late evening dress code. Their similarly-dressed friends were allowed to stay, though.

And Seaboe, I think making someone leave for causing a disturbance is a very different thing than refusing service for other reasons. It's allowing them to avoid having the cops called.
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  #20  
Old 27 April 2018, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill View Post
I don't agree.

I don't think it's asking much to ask a white person or a person of any race to throw on a shirt, a pair of pants, and a pair of shoes.

I don't see where being "disadvantaged" or "advantaged" comes into it.

Thanks.

Bill
If you really don't see it, then here it is. If you make a dress code that requires collared shirts, you are keeping out anyone who doesn't have a collared shirt. If you work as a ditch digger, or any other poorly compensated manual labor job, you are unlikely to wear collared shirts at work, and there is a decent shot that you don't own a collared shirt at all. If, on the other hand, you work in an office as an accountant, then you almost certainly have a closet full of collared shirts.
Now, there is a definite correlation between race and job. White people, especially white men, are over represented in such jobs, while minorities are over represented in jobs that don't require collared shirts.
So, if you ask everyone who comes to wear a collared shirt, it is certainly not asking too much for the clientele that they would most want - white people in well paying jobs - but it might be a stretch for others. When you also add in requirements for pants - a construction worker might only wear denim, but the club asks for dress slacks - and shoes, well, it's getting quite good at weeding out the poors.
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