New York Judge Rules Bar Patrons Can Be Removed For Supporting President Trump
After claiming that a MAGA hat is a “faith-based principle,” one man has lost his lawsuit alleging discrimination for being refused service at a Trump-hating bar.
The incident took place in January 2017 after Donald Trump took his oath of office. According to the lawsuit, the man was specifically kicked out for wearing a Make America Great Again hat.
The man who pushed the lawsuit is 31-year-old Greg Piatek, an accountant from Philadelphia. Greg was the one wearing a MAGA hat.
His attorney for the lawsuit was Paul Liggieri.
Justice David Cohen
The judge ruling on the case was Manhattan Supreme Court Justice David Cohen. Last year, Justice Cohen ruled on a ‘revenge porn’ case where he directed the online image-sharing platform Tumblr to “disclose… all the account registration information concerning each individual account that re-blogged the images and videos that are at issue here.” That is, Cohen not only wanted the person who uploaded the revenge porn online to be dinged, but he wants Tumblr to open up their records for that people who shared the images not knowing they were revenge can also be found.
Tumblr responded by releasing the real names, IP addresses and email addresses of 300 users who had shared the images so they too could be sued.
The Happiest Hour Bar
Located on West 10th street, the Happiest Hour Bar was the scene of the incident.
The bar was represented by lawyer Elizabeth Conway. The owner of the bar is Jon Neidich and he is not speaking with media.
Right now, the bar’s Yelp page is on “active cleanup alert” because its review page is currently being flooded with biased reviewed from people reading the news. According to Yelp, anyone posting to the page after today may have their review removed, and the page doesn’t “take a stand one way or the other when it comes to these news events.”
We can already see some reviews that will likely be removed:
“piece of s**t bar that doesn’t want to accept republican patrons… boycott this bar.”
“You want to discriminate against President Trump and his supporters. You are a disgusting excuse for a human being and I’ll never spend another dime in your dump again and anyone with brains will do the same.”
On the bar’s Instagram, there are more comments on the topic:
“o glad to see what the bar did by taking out the trumptard trash. No one wants to see that make america white/hate garbage. A big applause to this bar for doing what’s right.
In March, Piatek spoke with media after filing his lawsuit, saying that he and two of his friends visited the 9/11 Memorial, and then went to the Happiest Hour bar for drinks. The three arrived around 6:30pm on January 28th, 2017.
The three were not being served quickly when they arrived, and one of Piatek’s friends asked if it was their turn yet and the bartender asked “Is that hat a joke?”
Piatek described the bartender as “flustered” after getting them their second round and “slammed the drinks down.”
Then, another bartender allegedly asked if the hat was a joke, saying:
“I can’t believe you would support someone so terrible and you must be as terrible a person!”
Another bartender then told him, without being asked, that she would refuse to serve him.
Then the manager got involved after speaking with the owner of the bar and relayed this message to the man:
“Anyone who supports Trump or believes that you believe is not welcome here. And you need to leave right now because we won’t serve you.”
Attorney Paul Liggieri called the run-in “humiliating.”
The Court’s Ruling
On Wednesday in court, lawyer Elizabeth Conway took the angle that while religious beliefs are protected, political ones are not, and that “supporting Trump is not a religion.”
In response, lawyer Paul Liggieri said that “the purpose of the hat is that he wore it because he was visiting the 9/11 Memorial,” referring to it as a “spiritual tribute.”
“Rather than remove his hat, instead [Piatek] held true to his spiritual belief and was forced from the bar.”
When quizzed whether the bar knew that Piatek such an “unusual” religious belief, Liggieri only said “They were aware he was wearing the hat.”
When it came to the Judge, he asked Liggieri for more detail on this religion of MAGA.
“How many members are in this spiritual program that your client is engaged in?… it’s a creed of one?”
Liggieri was unable to keep up with the questions, and so by focusing on MAGA hats as religion, the case was ruled in favor of the bar. The Judge ruled:
“Plaintiff does not state any faith-based principle to which the hat relates.”
According to Justice Cohen’s ruling, it was not “outrageous” that the bar was allowed to refuse service to people supporting President Trump, because there is nothing in the law that prevents people from being protected against discrimination over their politics.
I’m looking forward to watching this circus turn into a case where landlords are able to throw people out of their homes because of their political affiliations. Within a few months we could have true enclaves of Left VS Right just by quizzing and getting rid of everyone whose ideas we don’t like. Or not, because Liggieri and Piatek are looking at an appeal.
Sources: New York Post