ABA Journal


First Amendment

Banning food truck because of Italian slur violates First Amendment, suit claims

Sep 3, 2013, 10:45 am CDT


Holy cow! That truck has done been "moderated."

By B. McLeod on 2013 09 03, 12:32 pm CDT

In the hyper-sensitive, politically correct times in which we live I am surprised that somebody hasn't taken extreme offense at the name of place where the food truck would be parked: "EMPIRE State Plaza." Specifically, the term "empire", which is of French origins, connotes political, military and economic domination, subjugation and exploitation of one people by another people - - the latter no doubt of being of a white/European nature.

In any case, if this food truck is ultimately denied the opportunity to serve the people of Albany, I guess they can move their operations a couple hundred miles to the South just outside of FedExField for people attending Washington Redskin games.

By Yankee on 2013 09 03, 3:12 pm CDT

@2 Yankee - I must respectfully disagree with you. Empire is really taken from the form of women's dress style known as Empire, which is probably derived from the dress of the statue of justice which surely is placed somewhere in the plaza.

By NV Atty on 2013 09 03, 4:59 pm CDT

@3 - how fortunate that the powers that be chose that style of dress to name their plaza after. "Miniskirt State Plaza" would just sound silly.

By MrBill on 2013 09 03, 5:04 pm CDT

@3 - I ope that you are joking (if so, I didn't get it). Per Wikipedia (but also per my old HS Latin teacher) The term empire derives from the Latin imperium (power, authority). Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples (ethnic groups) united and ruled either by a monarch (emperor, empress) or an oligarchy.

the term empire dress refers to the period of the First French Empire; Napoleon's first Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais was influential in popularizing the style around Europe.

By pablo on 2013 09 03, 5:30 pm CDT

sorry for the off-topic jaunt into empires

By pablo on 2013 09 03, 5:31 pm CDT

I didn't realize that was an offensive word, or even that it was one.

Apparently I've lived a sheltered life.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 09 03, 5:37 pm CDT

New York is nicknamed the "Empire State," along with the "Excelsior State," and "Knickerbocker State," just to put that out there. The origins of "Empire State" are unclear, but most likely relate to the vastness of resources throughout the state, the fact that NYC was a pathway for many goods and services respective of the other original colonies, and the ever increasing population (which surpassed VA).

There are many uses of the nickname throughout the state, not the least of which is the Empire State Building, Amtrak's "Empire Service," and there's even an Empire College, in addition to the state capitol's Empire Plaza.

By NYS Resident on 2013 09 03, 7:06 pm CDT

@3 Dear NV: Thank you for erudite etymological explanation for the origins of New York State's nickname: "empire". I stand corrected.

Truth me known, I can warm up to the theory that the nickname for New York State - - the home of Hilary Clinton and Anthony Weiner - - is based upon a lady's dress style. That explanation seems so inherently right to me on so many levels. Indeed, I would definitely put this information in the Too-Good-To-Verify category.

Thanks again.


By Yankee on 2013 09 03, 7:39 pm CDT

Add a Comment

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.