Hornets247 Watch Party Causes Legal Crisis

Published: April 17, 2011

Hornets247 community, Hornets247 watch party attendees, and Hornets or beer fans everwhere: It is critical that you come to the Hornets247 Playoff Watch Party today.  When Dexter Fishmore, a Los Angeles Lakers blogger, heard about the party for Game 1 of the Hornets-Laker series and the lack of access to free beer to Lakers fans, he immediately began a campaign to shut us, and the beer, down. 

I’ve been up all night building a case and working the channels to ensure that the party stays on, but the best way to ensure the party stays on is to show up and support the team and the party.  I don’t want it to come to this, but we may need to drink all the beer before Lakers fans arrive.  Since we can’t condone irresponsible behavior, we need lots of people there to take care of the kegs.  In the end, only you can stop Lakers fans from drinking our beer.

The clause he took umbrage with reads:

If you are wearing Lakers gear and/or cheering for the Lakers, you will not have access to the free beer.

Mr. Fishmore, clearly a backer of the Lakers, gallantly came to defense of his cohorts here in the Big Easy. I admire his moxie, really, even if it is being used against me.  He’s doing right by his people.

His counter-stroke:

OH I WON’T, WON’T I. Excuse me for pointing this out, but I believe denying free beer on the basis of team affiliation is a gross violation of the Equal Protection Clause and public policy in the State of Louisiana, which mandates that alcohol be distributed indiscriminately at all times.

I’m drafting a strongly worded cease-and-desist letter, but if you’re in New Orleans on Sunday, I encourage you to attend this so-called “party” and demand the beer to which you’re entitled. You’ll be joining a proud tradition of civil disobedience that stretches all the way back to Mohandas Gandhi and that half-naked woman who tried to storm the court at Staples Center a few weeks back.

Good thing for Hornets’ fans who love to see Lakers fans not drinking: 42 can handle this mess, even at 5:25 in the morning . . . Central time . . . to hell with Pacific time! Eastern time can kiss it while we’re at it.  I’m not going to pick on Mountain time . . . that’s like kicking a puppy with 4 broken legs.  Yes, I know there are other time zones, but this is post on law people, and justice, and freedom, and beer . . .

My argument will be indented . . . the faint of hear or easily bored should skip this . . .

Watch party aside, I can not, will not, let you sit there and prattle on about Civil Disobedience without mentioning Henry David Thoreau, who wrote an essay called “Civil Disobedience” in 1849. Ok, the English major in me is now satisfied (honestly, my degree made me do it).  I will applaud your example, however, as Mohandas took Civil Disobedience to rock star levels. Seriously, the Do You Feel Like I Do? from Frampton Comes Alive! of Civil Disobedience. Respect.

Now, onto the legal points.  The Equal Protection Clause is the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and was passed as one of the legal changes after the U.S. Civil War.  It is, among other things, a good clause.  I have no beef with the clause.  42 loves the clause.  Me and the clause: like this. 

The clause:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Without getting into this too deeply: Yes, we are having this party at an establishment with charge to serve folks without regard to race, creed, color, and the like.  However, this is more of a “no shirt, no shoes, no service” sort of rule, or a “jacket required” thing.  Plus, the blog is buying the beer, so we start to get into the “members only” thing (no, not that kind).  So, I think we’re good. 

I’m pretty sure we’ll have a lawyer there, and I’ve got 2 on speed dial (recognize), but 2 law schools are like right around the corner, so we can make due if need be.

The public policy part is more problematic.  This is, uh, kind of a . . . damned good point.  Score 1 for, Mr. Fishmore.

However (ha ha!), much of that law was passed when the Saints were the only pro sports team in town.  It’s unclear whether this law would apply to a team that (1) wasn’t around when our founding partiers passed these laws, especially when (2) the Saints players are locked out.  Just as the second amendment doesn’t apply to the nuclear arms the authors of the second amendment could not have imagined, how could people in South Louisiana envision a world without the Saints? Me, for instance, I’m in complete denial, and it’s wonderful. Moreover, in this Saintsless world, people are rooting for a basketball team. How could this have been anticipated?

In the best case for you, this goes to court to get an interpretation . . . and you can’t get a ruling before Monday since this game is on a Sunday.  Don’t even pretend like you don’t know that the three pillars of our legal system are common law, the civil code, and the Saints. You’ll be held in contempt of court. Procedure SMASH! (You know how in Side Out, Monroe gets Zack out of his eviction because the notice on February 1 to be out on March 1 didn’t give 30 days of notice? That just happened.)

Well, I do think that stymies the legal action until well after the game ends, though we could still be rockin’ Monday afternoon when you get your indiscriminate-alcohol-distribution challenge through the courts, and a challenge you a have a shot to win, admittedly. 

Now, all that aside, Mr. Fishmore, what you fail to mention is that we are gracious hosts and legendary partiers. We’ve taken in folks that were undesirable in other parts of the world since before LaSalle asked for directions. Also, we party at funerals.  People on the street join in to these parties. This is actually so fun, people emulate this at weddings.  I’m not going to mention Hurricane Parties.  Not even once. 

Given these facts, Mr. Fishmore, I propose that you re-examine the situation based on these facts and accept the following: 

If the Hornets win, Lakers fans won’t have to pay for a drink in town, that’s for sure (see above).  So, if our team wins, your people get what you want them to have: beer, and some partying that you can’t find out in Los Angeles. So, if your team wins, I should get something that everyone wants me to have that I can’t get here: a double-double animal style, fries, and a neapolitan shake, and you’re buying.

I say we’ve settled out of court . . . leaving the matter to be settled on the court.

What say you?

So come one, come all, Hornets fans or beer lovers in Hornets gear.  42 may have delivered you from Mr. Fishmore, but we still need everyone there, just in case! See you at the party!

Besides, you don’t want to read comments about ANOTHER attendance problem, do you?


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