The Right to Say “No” Versus Restrictions on Saying “Yes”


The owner of an upscale steakhouse said he asked O.J. Simpson to leave his restaurant the night before the Kentucky Derby because he is sickened by the attention Simpson still attracts.

I don’t care about O.J. Simpson from the voyeuristic value of this story, which is similar to his criminal trial. I do, however, like the correlation to such recent public policies as smoking bans. If we’re to use the logic presented by politicians and advocates of such bans, that a private place of business is actually “public”¹, this restaurant owner, Jeff Ruby, had no right to ask Simpson to leave. Who thinks that makes any sense? I hope no one, so then why are smoking bans reasonable? Private property means the right to set the rules within the bounds of consent.

From a humorous standpoint:

[O.J. Simpson’s attorney, Yale] Galanter said that the incident was about race, and he intended to pursue the matter and possibly go after the restaurant’s liquor license.

“He screwed with the wrong guy, he really did,” Galanter told The Associated Press by telephone last night.

Playing the race card here is mere grandstanding, obviously, but I’m sure the (unintentional?) threat that can be read into Galanter’s statement, given Simpson’s civil conviction, is the reason Mr. Ruby ejected Simpson. Should we congratulate him on proving his opposition’s point?

Second link via Fark

¹ Presumably because a patron uses public streets to get to the private establishment? I can’t think of anything else, although that means your home is also “public” and subject to smoking regulations. Hey, wait a minute…

2 thoughts on “The Right to Say “No” Versus Restrictions on Saying “Yes””

  1. Regarding your footnote, that’s actually close to correct. Back when “pubs” really were “publick houses” (i.e., inns), they were deemed to be the beneficiaries of the King’s Roads and therefore subject to the King’s Laws.
    Meanwhile, federal race-based anti-discrimination accommodation laws were first applied to roadside motels, which were deemed part of “interstate commerce” due to their proximity to interstate highways. (Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States).

  2. Thanks for the info. I should never underestimate the ability for humans to perpetuate stupidity, I guess.

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