Brett Stuff
Judging the Judges
Term Year: 2018

Manhattan Community Access Corporation, et al., Petitioners v. Deedee Halleck, et al.

Summary Analysis

DATE: 2019-06-17
DOCKET: 17-1702
NAME: Manhattan Community Access Corporation, et al., Petitioners v. Deedee Halleck, et al.

   AUTHOR: Kavanaugh
   JOINING: Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch
   GOOD: No

OPINION: Dissenting
   AUTHOR: Sotomayor
   JOINING: Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan
   GOOD: Yes

Case Commentary

The Decision was 5-4. I am fast coming to the conclusion that the only Decisions that should matter (that other courts should be bound to honour) are those which are Decided 9-0.

Because this case comes to us on a motion to dismiss, we accept the allegations in the complaint as true.
Well, I for one think that's pretty self explanatory. As the Defendant is requesting Dismissal of the Case (i.e. is requesting Summary Judgement), ALL of the Plaintiff's Allegations must be accepted (i.e. assumed to be true).

If ALL of the Plaintiff's Allegations are True and the Case would still fail as a Matter of Law, then there is no need for a Trial.

It is at Trial that the Plaintiff's Allegations are properly accessed.

And it is here that I will insert a Standard Disclaimer that the reader should assume is present on every page of this site.

I am not a Lawyer.

This is not a Legal Discussion or a discussion of The Law.

It's a Philosophical Discussion (which can more properly be labelled Religious in nature, as everyone's Philosophy is their own True Religion), which takes a Lay Person's (hey, that's me) limited (and it is quite limited) understanding of The Law, as it's Creative Impetus.

I disagree with The Court. So, far be it from me to argue its side... or do so effectively. All the same, I believe The Court's position is summarized quite nicely by the following two quotes.
The Free Speech Clause does not prohibit private abridgment of speech.

MNN is not a state actor and therefore is not subject to First Amendment restrictions on its editorial discretion.

I will assume the first quote is Iron Clad Law not reasonably refuted. So, it all comes down to that second quote and whether MNN (the entity at the heart of this lawsuit) is a State Actor.

Unsurprisingly, the Dissent takes MNN to be a State Actor.
New York State regulations require that the channels be made available to the public "on a first-come, first-served, nondiscriminatory basis."
In other words, MNN exits by Regulatory Fiat and is set up in such a way ("on a first-come, first-served, nondiscriminatory basis") as to be a Public Forum.

And in a Public Forum, everyone (who is a one) has the First Amendment Right of Free Speech.

Open and Shut!

Finally, I will note: I do not like the Double Standard Snobbery implied in the following out-take (the context hardly matters):
recognizing the problem with their argument... [they] alternatively contend...
The Legal System is Adversarial. It is Debate. If one does not Argue all angles, they are leaving stuff (for lack of a better word, as it's certainly not Justice) on the table.

I cannot see the advantage to be had (especially if one does not believe Justice will be served or one does not care about Justice in the first place) by accepting a single word of the Opposition's Argument. Which is to say, I would advocate arguing against a Complaint from top to bottom... and disagree with every single word... every fact, every assumption, every interpretation of The Law... everything.

In short, I cannot see the advantage in not Making a Mountain out of a Mole Hill.
Your Honour, from the perspective of an Ant, which from a metaphorical perspective my client most certainly is, that Mole Hill is a Mountain.

Judging the Judges

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A Personal Opinion/Editorial