(National Sentinel) Two Americas: A New York judge has ruled that a New York City bar was not acting in a discriminatory manner when it refused to serve a patron wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat.
As the New York Post reported, the Manhattan judge ruled Wednesday that there was nothing “outrageous” about employees of “The Happiest Hour” bar tossing Philadelphia accountant Greg Piatek, 31, out because state laws don’t protect against political discrimination.
Piatek was removed from the bar in January 2017, shortly before President Donald J. Trump was inaugurated, for wearing the hat indicating his support for the commander-in-chief, according to his lawsuit.
“Anyone who supports Trump — or believes in what you believe — is not welcome here! And you need to leave right now because we won’t serve you!” Piatek claims the staff told him after he and his pals complained about the rude service they were getting from a bartender.
In his suit, Piatek said being thrown out “offended his sense of being American.”
But the bar’s lawyer, Elizabeth Conway, argued that under state law only religious, and not political, beliefs are protected under state and city discrimination statutes, adding that “supporting Trump is not a religion.
“The purpose of the hat is that he wore it because he was visiting the 9/11 Memorial,” Piatek’s attorney, Paul Liggieri told Justice David Cohen in court.
“He was paying spiritual tribute to the victims of 9/11. The Make American Great Again hat was part of his spiritual belief,” Liggieri claimed.
Cohen did not accept that.
“Plaintiff does not state any faith-based principle to which the hat relates,” Cohen said in tossing the case.
Critics of the ruling see a double standard.
“Remember when a bakeshop owner’s refusal to create a custom wedding cake for a gay couple made national headlines? The liberal press went wild and it stuck around as one of the largest news stories for a year. ‘Discrimination!’, ‘Bigotry!’, ‘How dare he!’, the Left yelled in unison,” writes Lucian Wintrich at The Gateway Pundit.
He added further:
As a refresher course – in the “baker refuses to create a wedding cake” example, the fellow actually said he would be HAPPY to serve them. He just wasn’t keen on creating a custom wedding cake based on the idea of gay marriage – because it was against his religious convictions. In this new example, the potential customer didn’t ask for a MAGA-Martini complete with a “God Bless USA” cocktail stir instead of a mini-umbrella – HE WAS SIMPLY NOT ASHAMED OF BEING CONSERVATIVE.
New York law may not specifically cover “political” discrimination but the Constitution’s First Amendment does, and perhaps that would have been a better argument for Piatek.
The hat is political speech and political speech is most definitely protected under the First Amendment.
What’s more, the U.S. Constitution applies to states under the “incorporation doctrine,” which says, according to the Cornell School of Law:
The incorporation doctrine is a constitutional doctrine through which the first ten amendments of the United States Constitution (known as the Bill of Rights) are made applicable to the states through the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Prior to the doctrine’s (and the Fourteenth Amendment’s) existence, the Bill of Rights applied only to the Federal Government and to federal court cases. States and state courts could choose to adopt similar laws, but were under no obligation to do so.
It’s difficult to believe that the Manhattan judge did not know this. But it’s not difficult, in this day, to find there are double legal standards applied to liberals and conservative supporters of the president.