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Saturday, August 8, 2020

De Blasio privileges Black Lives Matter protests in defiance of the law

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Mayor Bill de Blasio has banned large gatherings in the city until the end of September, saying, “We just can’t have that while we’re focusing on health right now.” But he’s making one big exception: Black Lives Matter protests.

“This is a particular moment in American history where 400 years of oppression, 400 years of racism are being addressed in a very, very powerful way that can’t compare to anything else,” he says, “and people’s voices needed to be heard.”

Privileging some speech is bound to infuriate everyone who isn’t allowed to gather when they think it is just as important; he’s basically begging any group with any pride to also challenge the ban.

And rightly so, because the mayor is engaging in blatant viewpoint discrimination, which is blatantly unconstitutional — and guarantees the courts will support those who defy him.

Heck, de Blasio (along with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Tish James) is already under a federal injunction not to ban large outdoor religious gatherings, after three ­Orthodox Jews and two Catholic priests went to court because protests but not services were being allowed.

Other federal courts have issued similar rulings in Kentucky and Kansas.

The plaintiffs noted that de Blasio himself violated the ban on gatherings of more than 10 when he attended a protest at Cadman Plaza. His administration evicted Hasidic children from a park days later for breaking that same edict.

Any court worth its beans is going to find that same injustice in an effort to ban any large gathering that’s expressing or celebrating almost anything — ethnic or neighborhood pride, say — as long as the mayor is explicitly permitting mass-gathering “speech” that he deems important.

The law couldn’t be more clear: Elected officials don’t get to discriminate in that way; de Blasio looks like a bigot, or an idiot, for trying.

Read More at NYPost

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