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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Alta is (still) for skiers

A few years ago, I noted here on Prawfs an equal-protection / "animus" challenge that had been filed against Alta Ski Area's (a/k/a "Heaven on Earth") skiers-only policy.  The Tenth Circuit has ruled against "Wasatch Equality" on state-action grounds. Here is the opinion.  

 

Posted by Rick Garnett on April 21, 2016 at 11:27 AM in Rick Garnett | Permalink

Comments

Generally well-done. But this analysis (especially for symbiotic relationship) would be problematic for my arguments about professional sports teams using publicly funded stadiums as state actors in managing the stadium.

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Apr 21, 2016 11:40:37 AM

I'm skeptical. Maybe I'm missing something, but if the agreement with the Forest Service had let Alta exclude users (instead of "any skiing device") consistent with its business plan, and its business plan excluded black users because that helped the resort make more money, would we still say there's no state action?

Likewise, saying that the resort is one of 120 made it insignificant to the Forest Service would justify segregation in one restaurant because there were lots of other parking garages.

I'd rather they dealt with the rational basis test on the merits.

Posted by: Greg Sergienko | Apr 21, 2016 1:20:31 PM

Agreed about the 120 point--and that might be the distinguishing point for ballparks. The "business plan" point depends on what the agreement with the F/S said. If it expressly required Alta to follow its business plan, because that would then become government requiring Alta to discriminate (See Moose Lodge).

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Apr 21, 2016 1:27:34 PM

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