New York files its Reply Brief in Zuffa lawsuit
March 4, 2012
The New York District Attorney and Attorney General have filed its reply brief in support of its motion to dismiss two counts of Zuffa’s lawsuit against New York. MMA Payout takes a look at some of the arguments rebutting Zuffa’s opposition.
If you’ve been following the lawsuit, the New York was given the opportunity to file a limited motion to dismiss on the issues of Equal Protection and Due Process.
New York contends that Zuffa’s argument that courts have considered post-legislation changed circumstances fails because facts still exist which address the reasons for the law.
New York addresses Zuffa’s opposition brief in which, among its arguments, relied on the fact that courts have looked to changed circumstances when conducting a review of a law. New York makes the argument that post-legislation changed circumstances cannot destroy a law’s rational basis since such circumstances would not have affected the law’s rational basis in the first place. In fact, New York argues that courts have more freedom to consider post-legislation circumstances to uphold a law than to overturn it.
Another interesting argument used by New York to rebut Zuffa’s contention that MMA is safer now than when the MMA Ban was enacted is that Zuffa points out to safety regulations and precautions it has enacted and only vaguely refers to other MMA organizations. As such, New York contends that there is still “‘a reasonable conceivable state of facts’ that might warrant the prohibitions of the 1997 legislation.” Basically, New York argues that while the UFC may have enacted safety changes, it cannot support its argument with facts from other organizations.
New York actually turns Zuffa’s safety reforms on its head citing the fact that Zuffa admits its a combat sport with risk and that its mandatory waiting period for concussions and insurance reflect the fact that the sport includes risk. Thus, New York argues that the 1997 legislation banning MMA might be a rational response to these safety issues. As a result, New York contends that regardless of the changed circumstances that have occurred since the law was enacted in New York, the state had a rational reason to enact the law.
In response to Zuffa’s claims that either amateur MMA is not regulated and the fact that other perceived dangerous sports are not regulated, New York rebuts these concerns by pointing to the legislative branch as the authority to either regulate or amend a law if it flaws are found in the law.
Notably in footnote 3 of its reply brief it makes the argument (which one might add may beyond the scope of the motion) that the First Amendment does not apply to mixed martial arts citing Courts have been unwilling to extend free speech protection to sports or athletics.
(H/t: Fight Lawyer Blog for the Reply Brief)
MMA Payout will continue to follow the proceedings and report on the Court ruling when it occurs.
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