Friday, August 17, 2012

Zuffa Loses a Round in New York Court Battle

Remember Zuffa's lawsuit against the State of New York?  Remember how Zuffa was alleging that the law in New York that bans pro MMA is unconstitutional on a number of different grounds?  Well, today the judge in the case (Judge Kimba Wood of the US District Court of the Southern District of New York) allowed the dismissal of two of the seven counts in the claim.  Essentially, it just means that, while the fight isn't over, Zuffa has clearly lost a round.

What got dismissed were the claims that the law violated the Equal Protection clause and the Due Process clause; translating that into plain English, it means that the law - as it was enacted in 1997 - had a rational basis for being enacted (i.e., Holy spectacle, Batman!  That shit is dangerous!), and that it doesn't matter how safe the sport is now when scrutinizing the law.

What didn't get judicial attention was the First Amendment claim in the lawsuit (i.e., that professional MMA bouts are a form of free speech), and the whole vagueness claim re: the law banning pro MMA but not banning amateur MMA.

None of this really means much.  The lawsuit already served a huge purpose in that it got the state to admit that amateur MMA is legal, and now there are amateur shows sprouting up like toadstools in the dark.  And regardless of what happens with the suit, it seems like the legislature is gearing up to lift the ban in the upcoming year anyway.  So, yeah, Zuffa lost this round, but we fans are certainly winning the war.

Check out Justin Klein's blog for some keener legal insight.  Dude is a lawyer, after all.

No comments: