Supreme Court rules the government can’t refuse to register trademarks considered offensive
The Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional the federal government’s practice of refusing to register trademarks that officials deem to be offensive on racial, religious or similar grounds.
The justices ruled, 8-0, in favor of Simon Tam, the front man for an all-Asian-American rock band known as “The Slants.”
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had refused to register the band’s name, citing a law that denied trademarks that disparage individuals, institutions, beliefs or national symbols.
The result in the closely-watched case could doom legal challenges to other trademarks many consider offensive, such as that for the Washington Redskins football team. The team’s owners backed the musician’s attack on the anti-disparagement rule.
The eight justices who considered the case held unanimously that the clause banning registration of disparaging trademarks violates the First Amendment.
“It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote.
Alito had the full support of the justices for the conclusion that trademarks are private speech, not government speech.
“It is far-fetched to suggest that the content of a registered mark is government speech. If the federal registration of a trademark makes the mark government speech, the Federal Government is babbling prodigiously and incoherently,” Alito wrote. “It is saying many unseemly things…. It is expressing contradictory views. It is unashamedly endorsing a vast array of commercial products and services. And it is providing Delphic advice to the consuming public.”
I really hope this is the beginning of a trend. Slant Lives Matter.
BTW – Neil Gorsuch did not take part in the decision.
El Buffoon Muy Grande:
Hopefully They Will Grow Out of This
The only thing you can do when you see things like this is A.) wonder where the rest of the faculty are and B.) hope they grow out of it.
It does raise some interesting questions, though. Do the kids not realize they are also white, and should probably not be there because they are de facto violating the rules via their whiteness? And why are they mostly only interviewing only white kids. And third, when did snapping take the place of clapping, or is that just something else I missed?
At any rate, they are kids, and college is where they are supposed to do stupid things, so they are at least in the right place.
I guess if you are a Republican, and this is the face of the left to you, it could be problematic. I think the best lesson they could learn from this is not the message they are trying to send, but the organizational skills that can be later put to use rallying around more solid causes and discovering that when it comes to change, showing up is 90% of the battle. As long as they are not violent or actually get someone fired for no reason, just let them be, I say.
If you are the parent of college-bound kids this should terrify you. If your child(ren) is gonna receive a useless education why not send them to a local cow college? Why waste money you could spend in your golden years? Better yet, why not just send them to truck driving school?
BTW: John Cole teaches communication at West Virginia University.
Full disclosure: My Problem Child attended Evergreen. His ex-wife’s parents both teach there. He is about a semester short of a BA in Art. He bartended while he was in school, and he now owns a bar in SeaTac and does art as a hobby.
Professor John Cole
I don’t recognize the left anymore, bunch of (D)-hadists (h/t BlowMeObama). This tweet sums it up pretty good….Behold, the Democratic Strategery for 2018 and 2020. #Fail
Open Thread !
Music hath charms to soothe the
naked savage breast. Best of all it can be enjoyed from the fetal position, which I find myself in more and more frequently.
“I got a bad feeling about this.” ―Han Solo
Previous thread was beginning to resemble me – old and slow.
Here’s a new open thread.
Thought y’all might enjoy some classic hits.