(sub nom Burke et al v. McSweeney)
There is a group of conspiracy theorists who call themselves "Truthers" and who
believe that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were not carried out by
terrorist extremists but, rather, were the work of the U.S. government.
The group is splintered and fractured, and exists primarily on the Internet. None of
the various splinter groups have any coherent theory as to how the "inside job" was
conducted, who was involved, how it was "covered up", and these people cannot
even agree on what occurred. Mostly, they "just ask questions" and ignore the
rational, logical, evidence-based answers.
One of the splinter groups is a group calling itself NYC CAN. It claims to be acting
on behalf of "the families" but in reality, it has only a few family members of victims
of the attacks among its membership. The vast majority of the family members
have nothing whatsoever to do with any of the conspiracy theorists or their groups
and, like the rest of the population, think that the conspiracy theorists are
disrespectful and exploitative of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
NYC CAN started a ballot initiative a few years ago, with the ostensible goal of
having New York City sanction it to form an "independent commission" (comprised
solely of conspiracy fantasists) to "investigate" the events of 9/11. The proposed
commission seeks wide-ranging law enforcement, judicial and prosecutorial powers,
many of which encroach upon state and federal jurisdictions, and there are
numerous problems with the petition, which, in my view, was destined to fail
spectacularly from the outset.
After the City Clerk denied the petition at first instance - on the basis that it did not
have a sufficient number of qualified signatories and it was legally invalid for several
reasons - five applicants (petitioners) applied to the New York City court for a
review of the City Clerk's decision.
Here are the most relevant documents filed in the application. Note: I am
referring to the petitioners as applicants to avoid confusion between the application
(petition) for review of the City Clerk's decision and the NYC CAN petition itself.
Petition Denied July 24, 2009
Show Cause Affidavit July 29, 2009
Application for Review July 30, 2009
Interim Order August 7, 2009
Interim Order August 14, 2009
Interim Order August 24, 2009
The Respondent, Michael McSweeney, City Clerk of the City of New York, brought a
motion to dismiss the petition.
Memorandum of Law of Respondent, Michael McSweeney
September 8, 2009
Applicants' Memorandum of Law in response
September 21, 2009
Reply Memorandum of Law of Respondent
September 24, 2009
September 25, 2009
September 28, 2009
Referee's Report and Recommendation Upheld; Application Dismissed
October 9, 2009