Zuffa alleges NY MMA ban violates the US Constitution

source: The Underground
 

Where Connecticut has laws governing boxing that are interpreted by the Attorney General as prohibiting MMA, in New York the sport is directly named and prohibited. There has been a long and extended effort by the MMA community, notably Zuffa, to lift the ban, but it has thus far been unsuccesssful.

Now Zuffa has filed a complaint that the MMA ban is unconstitutional.

A UGer who is an attorney read the complaint and provides a very brief summary below:

From: gatorlaw
Member Since: 11/25/10
Posts: 91

As promised, here's a *very* truncated version of the Zuffa's complaint - it's actually a really cool read just from the perspective of an MMA fan.

Zuffa is alleging several violations of the US constitution, including the First Amendment, Equal Protection Clause (14th Amd.), Due Process Clause (also 14th Amd.), and the Commerce Clause (Art. I Sec. 8 of the US Const.).

Argues that each *component* of mixed martial arts is legal. As a whole, MMA should be a sum of its parts. (Awesome argument btw)

Likens MMA to theater performance, violent video games, songs with violent lyrics, etc.

Discusses the origins of the sport and the poor marketing strategy of "There are no rules!" Talks about how modern MMA has evolved in every way from its origins.

Talks about the success of UFC and its contract with Fox as well as Belator's success and its new deal with Spike. Also touts TUF. Generally talks about how "mainstream" the sport has become.

Recounts the good ol' days in MSG with Frazier and Ali, Marciano and Louis. States that MSG has fallen and now merely hosts "viewing parties" of the sport.

Touts MMA's safety record as compared to boxing, football, and even equestrian sports and cheerleading (lol). States that the ban merely fosters underground events.

Perhaps most interesting in the entire complaint, it talks about the message of MMA and why fighters do what they do. This is where the expression argument comes in - they argue that fighters are demonstrating skills gained through a lifetime of training, practicing, and studying, just like any other performer or athlete. Argues that the ban silences that message and expression.

Goes on to discuss the parties to the complaint, most interesting of which is the fan, Joseph Lozito, who stopped that knife-weilding attacker on the subway. I'm sure you guys remember that. It talks about how Joe views MMA as an art form/entertainment and how the ban prohibits him from viewing the same live without traveling out of state.Goes on to discuss other fans, trainers, and athletes.

I'm not going to go into the causes of action too much, but they articulate that the ban is both facially unconstitutional and as it is applied to the parties, the ban is overbroad, the ban is vague, the ban allows the components of MMA but not the whole, the ban is irrational and violates substantive due process, the ban restricts interstate commerce, and lastly shit about a 2001 liquor law that I didn't want to read. (give me a break - it's on page 103).

Zuffa is seeking an injunction of the ban (make it stop), a declaration that the law is unconstitutional, and attorneys' fees and costs.

Read entire thread...
Read entire complaint...
 

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tags: Zuffa   UFC   Legislation   New York   



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Recent Comments »

JerodR site profile image  

11/17/11 6:03 PM by JerodR

Wow.. That whole lawsuit is a thing of art. Seriously, they have set up a very good arguement and a all around loss for New York. If they do not legalize it then they are going to look very...very bad.

JerodR site profile image  

11/17/11 6:03 PM by JerodR

Wow.. That whole lawsuit is a thing of art. Seriously, they have set up a very good arguement and a all around loss for New York. If they do not legalize it then they are going to look very...very bad.

sevr1 site profile image  

11/17/11 5:51 PM by sevr1

Thanks! When I saw it was based on constitutional issues, I thought, "That'll never happen". But now that I see some of the arguements, I'm curious to see how it turns out. Not that I think it'll be overturned, but it'll at least be interesting to see what the reasoning is.  

sevr1 site profile image  

11/17/11 5:51 PM by sevr1

Thanks! When I saw it was based on constitutional issues, I thought, "That'll never happen". But now that I see some of the arguements, I'm curious to see how it turns out. Not that I think it'll be overturned, but it'll at least be interesting to see what the reasoning is.  

chris80cent site profile image  

11/17/11 11:07 AM by chris80cent

This also

chris80cent site profile image  

11/17/11 11:07 AM by chris80cent

This also

chris80cent site profile image  

11/17/11 11:06 AM by chris80cent

I gotta agree. MMA is like a art. I wouldn't consider it a martial art, but mma is a art in itself. Peace

chris80cent site profile image  

11/17/11 11:06 AM by chris80cent

I gotta agree. MMA is like a art. I wouldn't consider it a martial art, but mma is a art in itself. Peace

gatorlaw site profile image  

11/17/11 10:51 AM by gatorlaw

Thanks Caps. I agree that they have some very strong and novel arguments, but cases based upon constitutional challenges are notoriously difficult to win. I'll definitely be crossing my fingers.

gatorlaw site profile image  

11/17/11 10:51 AM by gatorlaw

Thanks Caps. I agree that they have some very strong and novel arguments, but cases based upon constitutional challenges are notoriously difficult to win. I'll definitely be crossing my fingers.



 

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