Judge Throws Out Lawsuit Against Ground Zero Mosque
New York Daily News via YellowBrix
July 13, 2011
NEW YORK – Supreme Court Justice Paul Feinman dismissed a suit filed by Firefighter Timothy Brown with the backing of the American Center for Law & Justice, a Washington conservative group.
Feinman ruled that Brown didn’t have a leg to stand on legally in his suit that challenged the city’s refusal to grant landmark status to 45-47 Park Place, a building several blocks from Ground Zero that once housed a Burlington Coat Factory.
“While the court does not question the sincerity of Mr. Brown’s belief that he is an appropriate representative of the many first responders who heroically responded to aid the victims of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, he does not, as a matter of law, satisfy the legal test for standing to challenge [the Landmark Preservation Commission’s] determination to deny 45-47 Park Place landmark status,” Feinman wrote in a 15-page decision.
The suit was seeking to overturn the commission’s rejection last August for granting landmark status to the 152-year-old Italian palazzo-style warehouse. Brown’s lawyers argued that the building was a monument to 9/11 because it had been pelted with parts from airplanes that flew into the Twin Towers.
City lawyers countered that 56 other buildings had been showered with debris from the doomed planes, and that no one was fighting to landmark those buildings.
The proposed Park51 project, which remains in the planning stages, is slated to house a mosque and an Islamic cultural center.
A lawyer for the building’s owner had trashed Brown’s suit as nothing more than anti-Islamic nonsense dressed up in Ground Zero mystique.
Feinman noted that Brown’s “unquestionably heoric and commendable” actions on 9/11 and pointed out his claim that allowing the building to be demolished would be a direct injury to him as a “living representative of the heroic structures that commemorate the events of that day.”
“Even assuming that a diminished ability to commemorate the events of 9/11 and the lives lost is an injury, it is one which we as global citizens all share, and it is not Mr. Brown’s alone,” Feinman wrote.