Update on Zuffa vs. New York: NY files motion
January 9, 2012
The Fight Lawyer reports on the latest from the Zuffa lawsuit in New York. Notably, the New York AG and the New York DA will file a motion to dismiss on the issues of due process and equal protection but the First Amendment issue will not be contested in the motion.
On January 5, 2012 a status conference was held:
Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Kimba M. Wood: Status Conference held on 1/5/2012. Defendants will submit a limited motion to dismiss addressing only the issue of whether due process and equal protection analysis requires the Court to determine whether there was a rational basis for the law at issue only at the time it was passed, or whether the Court must determine whether there is a rational basis for the law at present (in other words, whether the Court should take into account a change in factual circumstances that makes the law no longer rational, even if it had a rational basis at the time of passage). Defendants’ motion is due 1/27/12. Plaintiffs’ reply is due 2/17/12.Defendants’ response is due 3/2/12. (js) Modified on 1/9/2012 (tro). (Entered: 01/06/2012)
It will be interesting to see the arguments in the motion. The minute entry appears a little confusing upon first read considering the court will consider whether a law can become constitutionally irrational. But, it appears that the Court will decide whether the MMA Ban is rational now based on the current state of MMA or whether it was rational when the law was introduced in 1997. A breakdown of the due process and equal protection claims are 3, 4 and 5 in the lawsuit addressed here.
As the Fight Lawyer commented in his post, its a limited motion and there is no mention of the First Amendment claim.
One has to wonder whether the defendants believed that Zufffa’s First Amendment claim would survive a motion to dismiss at this point or whether its strategy is to prevail on its limited motion first prior to addressing the other claims in the lawsuit.