Wandering Dago, Inc. v. Destito, No. 16-622 (2d Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
WD filed suit against OGS, alleging that defendants violated its rights under the First Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause, and the New York State Constitution by denying WD's applications to participate as a food truck vendor in the Lunch Program based on its ethnic-slur branding. The Second Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment for defendant, holding that defendants' action violated WD's equal protection rights and its rights under the New York State Constitution. In this case, it was undisputed that defendants denied WD's applications solely because of its ethnic-slur branding. In Matal v. Tam, 137 S. Ct. 1744 (2017), the Supreme Court clarified that this action amounted to viewpoint discrimination and, if not government speech or otherwise protected, was prohibited by the First Amendment. The court rejected defendants' argument that their actions were unobjectionable because they were either part of OGS's government speech or permissible regulation of a government contractor's speech.