Sinatra, Music, the Texas Guitar Army, the First Amendment, and Coronavirus
From Friday’s Hund v. Cuomo (Hund is musician Michael Hund, who brings the Texas Guitar Army connection):
New York State has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with numerous restrictions. This case involves one such restriction, set forth in the New York State Liquor Authority’s Phase 3/4 Guidelines for Licensed On-Premises Establishments. The Court must decide if the incidental-music rule contained in these guidelines—which allows licensed establishments to provide live music that is incidental to the dining experience but not advertised, ticketed live music—comports with the United States Constitution. Because it does not, the Court grants Plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction, as set forth in detail below, and grants in part and denies in part Defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint….
[T]he incidental-music rule affects Hund’s ability to perform live music as part of advertised, ticketed events at licensed on-premises establishments, implicating his First Amendment rights…. The United States Constitution permits state officials to take necessary, rational, and temporary measures to meet an emergency…. [M]ore than a century of caselaw illustrates that, in extreme times, like when a pandemic or epidemic threatens to impose a heavy toll on public health, this equipoise will flex—without breaking—to tolerate state impositions that are moderate in severity, short in duration, and tailored to the disease. Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905) (holding that “in every well-ordered society charged with the duty of conserving the safety of its members[,] the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure o
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