A Manhattan judge ruled Wednesday that a bar could legally kick out a supporter of President Trump.
Plaintiff Greg Piatek was kicked out of The Happiest Hour watering hole on West 10th Street in January 2017 for wearing the familiar “Make America Great Again” cap.
“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!” the staff told Mr. Piatek, according to the Philadelphia accountant’s suit.
After it was pointed out by the bar’s lawyers that city and state laws don’t bar discrimination based on politics, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice David Cohen had to rule on Mr. Piatek’s new claim that “Make America Great Again” is a religious belief.
“The purpose of the hat is that he wore it because he was visiting the 9/11 Memorial,” Piatek attorney Paul Liggieri said 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.
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