We wrote about this back in 2011: A New Brunswick, New Jersey businessman sued the city in federal court, claiming that the mayor held up approval of his liquor license for a sports bar because he didn’t like the bar’s proposed name — Buck Foston. The claim asserted that the mayor was a Red Sox fan and illegally singled out the bar in violation of the First Amendment.
The owner of Buck Foston just won big. Specifically, after six days of evidence, the jury sided with the bar owner, calling the license denial an outrageous First Amendment violation and awarding him $1.5 million. This, from the Post is the best part:
. . . the jury heard testimony that the mayor had met with Blatterfein to ask him to change the name, which he allegedly called “vulgar.” During the conversation, Blatterfein asked Cahill why it’s OK to have a Cluck-U Chicken restaurant in town but not a bar called Buck Foston’s, court papers state.
Cahill responded that the name was fine because “chickens cluck,” according to the lawsuit.
I don’t remember the “chickens cluck” exception from my Constitutional law class, but I suppose I might’ve skipped class that day.
Viva democracy. And viva New Jersey businessmen for having the right to name their probably gross bars whatever silly name they want to. That’s what America is all about.