Video: Minutemen to sue Columbia

posted at 5:27 pm on October 13, 2006 by Allahpundit

From this afternoon’s Cavuto. Marvin Stewart’s already filed police complaints alleging harassment and stolen property after some of the bien pensants in the audience jumped onstage and grabbed him. He claims a hate crime was committed based on the fact that some of them were yelling “house nigger” during his speech. How the D.A. intends to prove that the people who assaulted him were the same people who did the yelling is beyond me.

The New York State hate-crime statute turns on whether the offense was committed “in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation…” Not sure how that’s constitutional, but it is.

“Age,” though?

Update: What exactly do they mean by a “hate crimes lawsuit” against Columbia, though? The school, presumably, will be sued for negligence in failing to do its duty to protect them. The protesters could be sued for assault and battery. But where’s the “hate” from Columbia? Is there some theory of vicarious liability here? Tort lawyers, help me out.

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First the Harry Reid story and now this. It is a good Friday!

bopbottle on October 13, 2006 at 5:39 PM

Hooray for them! Hope they win big! Happy Aloha Friday!

Catie96706 on October 13, 2006 at 5:43 PM

Excellent news! Now if we could just stop the GoBernment from wasting our tax payer monies on these failed institutions.

Allah, lawyers can argue anything. That is why they drive such nice cars. Do you remember, “If the glove doesn’t fit…” :oP

DannoJyd on October 13, 2006 at 5:47 PM

This is a win-win. Either Columbia gets smacked down, or the notion of “hate crimes” does.

Farmer_Joe on October 13, 2006 at 6:02 PM

Yeesh, I hate when the Right uses the Left’s bad assumptions, like that thought hate crime should even be a category. I dont know what the Minutemen think they’re doing here… I doubt “hate crimes” gets struck down here, the Minutemen will probably just look bad.

Alex K on October 13, 2006 at 6:06 PM

The lefties will turn this around in a heartbeat and make the Minutemen the bad guys for being so “mean” to the Columbia students. After all, they’re just kids having a little fun and can’t be expected to act like responsible adults.

darwin on October 13, 2006 at 6:18 PM

Amen, Alex. If Mr. Stewart was called such a thing, that is despicable. It should not, however, be actionable. Let’s stay out of the mud, where the pigs play.

HerrMorgenholz on October 13, 2006 at 6:19 PM

Maybe the ACLU will help the minutemen out….


SouthernGent on October 13, 2006 at 7:04 PM

I agree with the posts here. It’s win-win for the Minutemen. Hoo-ah.

Mojave Mark on October 13, 2006 at 7:07 PM

If equal justice is to be applied, the students should be expelled. The security should be fired.

Happy Friday the 13th!

Kini on October 13, 2006 at 7:17 PM

I know, it’s friday the 13th…Invited guests should be treated better, and the students have a code of conduct…

The minutemen appear to be holding the right hand, let’s see how they choose to play it. It could very well reform all the campus’ in the US.

tormod on October 13, 2006 at 7:32 PM

I think they have very good grounds for an affirmitive civil judgement against Columbia for negligence, at least. They certainly had to be aware of potential security issues given the current political climate and the hot button issue that border security is. Not to mention all the audience guests have to pass through a check-in checkpoint to gain entrance into the facility. What did they think they were going to do with their giant rolled up banners… roll them out on the floor and have an indoor picnic? Columbia had to know something was going to happen, yet, they provided no preemptive security. Not that I saw in the video anyway. I would also think that the Minuteman Project speaker(s) and/or the representatives made security an issue when they accepted the invitation to exercise their freedom of speech on Columbia’s campus using Columbia’s facilities. From the looks of it, security came from behind the stage curtain well after the lefty hate-fest was underway.

As for a “hate crimes” lawsuit. It’s plausible. Proving it is highly improbable, but I’d venture to guess that it’s not impossible. If they can prove that Columbia’s actions, or lack thereof, was complicit with the melee, AND they can prove a hate crime occurred as a result of Columbia’s complicity… it could be possible win a judgement.

Yet another fine example of the tolerant left, regardless. I’m sorry for the victims of the left’s hate, but damnit, the left’s true colors sure shine bright when these things happen. It’s just too darn bad that the MSM ignores the larger intolerance of the left, but rakes the right over the coals over the most paltry of events.

SilverStar830 on October 13, 2006 at 8:14 PM

Colleges must enforce their own regulations.

Want to stop the spoiled brats? Crack down on them.

The thugs students should have been arrested upon complaint of the University for disorderly conduct, trespass, and destruction of property, as soon as they stormed the stage.

They should have been immediately expelled and evicted from the dorms before they even made bail — and when they got back from the police station, they should have found their doorm room vacated and their crap already on the sidewalk.

And no refunds on tuition or room and board….

I think they call it “tough love.”

georgej on October 14, 2006 at 8:49 AM

Deposition on this one should prove interesting enough.


The Machine on October 14, 2006 at 11:16 AM

What I’m interested in seeing is how this is covered, if at all, by the New York Times and its team of cracked reporters.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on October 14, 2006 at 2:01 PM

Does anyone know of case law or any precedent on the Hate Crimes premise?

shooter on October 14, 2006 at 2:04 PM

I seem to recall a case involving sexual harassment in which the firm itself was considered responsible for fostering a hostile work environment by permitting pin-up pictures to be displayed.

Therefore, I don’t see why Columbia couldn’t be charged for promoting these hate crime attacks by failing to provide appropriate ideological diversity. In Ivy League schools, faculty political affiliation is at best 16 to 1 Democratic to Republican. And Theodore Newcomb’s classic pre-WW2 study of Bennington College (which had a very liberal faculity)clearly demonstrates the effect of little diversity. Initially conservative students from well off families became more liberal each year they stayed. In fact, fifty years later graduates’ liberality still remained higher than average.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on October 14, 2006 at 8:54 PM

More hypocrisy from the looney left. All along they are accusing the Minutemen of being ‘racists’. That is their prime argument. That the Minutemen want to keep illegal aliens out of this country because they are non-whites.

Yet, here are these same anti-Minutemen people using anti-black racial slurs against a black Minuteman member.

And what’s even worse is that the liberal left seem to think they are allowed to use racial slurs. As if they have some sort of free pass to be able to be racist punks and get away with it. Like they ‘have it like that’.

Nothing but a bunch of self-righteous leftwing hate mongers. They are not against the Minutemen for the sake of race, they simply enjoy watching America sink. That’s what it all comes down to. They want America to be ruined and anyone who wants to stop it from being ruined, they will try to stop them – any means neccessary.

I don’t care if these were young, misled college kids – they should have all been thrown in a cold jail cell for the weekend.

BillyKess on October 14, 2006 at 9:14 PM

This is my personal opinion, and is NOT legal advice.

It sounds like Mr. Stewart is seeking a CRIMINAL prosecution from the state of New York, and Mr. Gilchrist may follow up with a CIVIL action of his own.

The CRIMINAL prosecution would be State of NY v. John Doe Student. Good catch Allah, Columbia University is not a person and likely cannot “hate” under the NY “hate crimes” statute. Any criminal action would have to be brought by a prosecutor against individual Columbia students. That seems unlikely here.

The CIVIL action will be Gilchrist v. Columbia University, John Doe Student, etc. From the interview, it sounds like Mr. Gilchrist is waiting to see what happens with any CRIMINAL prosectutions before he files his CIVIL action.

I am unfamiliar with NY case law, but I think that the CIVIL suit has a chance here. The CIVIL action only has to prove that more likely than not, Columbia University was negligent. In contrast, the CRIMINAL prosecution has to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. My intuition is that no prosecutor in NY will prosecute the Columbia students criminally, but that Mr. Gilchrist will file a civil suit against Columbia Universtiy soon.

I am a law student. Real attorneys, feel free to improve this analysis.

bigbeas on October 15, 2006 at 2:57 PM

I usually watch Cavuto’s show, but missed the day that this segment aired. After having viewed it, I’m just so appalled at the terrible treatment of these honorable men by ignorant, left-wing-loonie-indoctrinated students… (more like uncaged animals)!

I wonder. Since Mr. Stewart self-identified (by his opening statement) as a Christian, can the lawsuit not only focus on the awful racial rhetoric hurled at him, but can it also include defamation of character because of his religious beliefs?

Talkwisdom blogspot.

Christinewjc on October 15, 2006 at 6:39 PM