« Birthright Citizenship: A Case Study in the Near-Inevitability of Constitutional Ambiguity | Main | Perfection, athletic skills, and sports »

Friday, November 02, 2018

Packers fan finds counsel for First Amendment claim against Bears

I have written about Beckman v. Chicago Bears, a lawsuit by a Bears season-ticket holder and Packers fan who was prevented from going onto the field in Packers gear. Proceeding pro se (although with some informal guidance for a time), Beckman survived a 12(b)(6) by a very forgiving district court. It now appears Beckman has obtained counsel for the long-haul--the First Amendment Clinic at Duke and a Chicago attorney named Michel Lieber.

I think his First Amendment claim is a good one, if he can get past the state action problems. I remain surprised it took him this long to find counsel, but I am glad he found someone. This could get interesting.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on November 2, 2018 at 02:38 PM in Civil Procedure, Constitutional thoughts, First Amendment, Howard Wasserman | Permalink


Although I am a Packers fan, one could argue that although anyone can purchase a ticket to a game, field passes are restricted. Thus it seems reasonable to assume that it is not unreasonable and in fact necessary and proper, in order to support the mission of the team (to beat the Packers etc.), to restrict side line passes to those who support the mission of the team, and will not oppose that mission.

Posted by: N.D. | Nov 3, 2018 2:24:36 PM

Very interesting case indeed . Let's hope first , that there is no deadly misunderstanding here . For , the court I quote :

" Deems the class allegations withdrawn ..... "

But this is because , Beckman himself , argued that , I quote :

" a pro se litigant can't represent a class because a class needs competent counsel to get anywhere "

So , I was wondering , why would he now look for a lawyer , while , he did well for himself by representing himself so far . Maybe , he would like to stick or to shift to class action , but the order of the court is clear : " any amended complaint should not include class allegations " .

Concerning the issue of state actor for the purpose of first amendment violation , one should notice that :

The defendant claim , that the operating agreement between the CPD and the Bears , dictates clearly the different domains of responsibilities in article 25.1 stating so , I quote :

Except for locker rooms, Team Areas and the Field, the CPD shall be responsible for the performance and payment of security and crowd
control on Game Days. With respect to locker room, Team Areas and the Field, the Club shall be responsible for the performance and payment of security and crowd control on Game Days.

End of quotation :

But , it seems definitely irrelevant , for , by delegating the power to the bears , or , the very delegation of power to them , is sufficient per se , for being held responsible at first place over both general area , and the specific one allocated to the Bears . So , the Q is back to the issue . It is public domain , operated by public corporation , and distribution of responsibility , wouldn't change much it seems . For the Bears , are fulfilling so , public functioning , as such , deems to be considered as state actor at first place .


Posted by: El roam | Nov 2, 2018 4:52:34 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.