Wednesday, September 27, 2023

We Won Another One

You might remember that U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled that West Texas A&M University ban on a campus drag show was legal. Well another federal just ruled the a ban on drag shows violate the First Amendment.
US judge throws out Texas ban on drag acts, calls it unconstitutional
By Jonathan Allen
September 26, 2023

A federal judge in Texas ruled on Tuesday that the state's new law limiting public drag performances was an unconstitutional restriction on speech and he permanently forbid enforcement of it.

"Not all people will like or condone certain performances," U.S. District Judge David Hittner wrote. "This is no different than a person's opinion on certain comedy or genres of music, but that alone does not strip First Amendment protection."

More than a dozen states have sought to restrict drag shows over last year, with Texas one of at least four to pass restrictions into law, part of broader Republican efforts to regulate the behavior of LGBT people.

Hittner ruled that the Texas law was discriminatory and improperly vague. He said drag performances were not inherently obscene, and were the sort of expressive speech protected by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.


The office of the Texas attorney general defended the law, which, among other restrictions, banned "the exhibition of sexual gesticulations using accessories or prosthetics that exaggerate male or female sexual characteristics" in public, or in venues where people under 18 may see it. Violations could be punished by fines and a jail sentence of up to one year.

You know these cases are going all the way to the Supreme Court.

In other court news…
By Jonathan Stempel and Karen Freifeld
September 26, 2023

A New York judge found Donald Trump and his family business fraudulently inflated the value of his properties and other assets, in a major defeat for the former U.S. president that could severely restrict his ability to do business in the state.

The scathing decision by Justice Arthur Engoron of the New York state court in Manhattan will make it easier for state Attorney General Letitia James to establish damages at a scheduled Oct. 2 trial.

Engoron also ordered the cancellation of business certificates for the Trump Organization and other corporate defendants, and ordered the appointment of a receiver to manage their dissolution.

The judge described how Trump, his adult sons Donald Jr. and Eric, the Trump Organization and other defendants made up valuations and inflated Trump's net worth to suit their business needs.

"That is a fantasy world, not the real world," Engoron wrote.

The judge also sanctioned the defendants' lawyers for making "preposterous" legal arguments and fueling their clients' "obstreperous" conduct.

However, it is not a criminal case so there is no jail time. But, but…
The New Republic writes that this ruling could have big far-reaching consequences,
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Donald Trump committed business fraud and ordered that all his New York business certificates be canceled. This makes it nearly impossible to do business in New York and could effectively kill the Trump Organization as it exists today.
AP News write,
Engoron ordered that some of Trump’s business licenses be rescinded as punishment, making it difficult or impossible for them to do business in New York, and said he would continue to have an independent monitor oversee the Trump Organization’s operations.


Beyond mere bragging about his riches, Trump, his company and key executives repeatedly lied about them on his annual financial statements, reaping rewards such as favorable loan terms and lower insurance costs, Engoron found.

Those tactics crossed a line and violated the law, the judge said, rejecting Trump’s contention that a disclaimer on the financial statements absolved him of any wrongdoing.
Now I don’t know if businesses can sue them for fraud. I imagine towns, and the state might sue for back taxes and I also imagine that the banks will not be happy that they got defrauded.

1 comment:

  1. I think the religious zealots have a lot to do with the laws banning drag performances of any sort. There are plenty of venues I do not go to because I am not a fan of the art; be it music, movies, etc. Just as movies are rated for maturity for guidance performers should use some common sense. What's alright for a crowd of adults over 18 may not be alright in front of elementary school children. Unfortunately, IMHO, the zealots do nothing but spread hate and non-acceptance that can lead to violence.