This is a HUGE win for the First Amendment!
You’ve seen the outrage over names of sports teams or other things that some snowflakes find offensive like the Redskins and some have even tried to force teams to change their names to something they found more appropriate. Offensiveness is protected under the First Amendment and the Supreme Court ruled as such in an excellent unanimous decision.
The Daily Caller reports on the ruling:
The Supreme Court struck down a federal law banning the registration of disparaging trademarks Monday, finding the law violates the First Amendment’s free speech clause.
The ruling, written by Justice Samuel Alito, says that trademarks are private, not government speech, and that the government may not curtail even offensive expression.
“Holding that the registration of a trademark converts the mark into government speech would constitute a huge and dangerous extension of the government-speech doctrine, for other systems of government registration (such as copyright) could easily be characterized in the same way,” Alito wrote.
This case was specific to a group called ‘The Slants’ and has been going on for quite some time. A federal court had agreed with the band but the Patent and Trademark Office sued. From NPR:
Members of the Asian-American rock band The Slants have the right to call themselves by a disparaging name, the Supreme Court says, in a ruling that could have broad impact on how the First Amendment is applied in other trademark cases.
The Slants’ frontman, Simon Tam, filed a lawsuit after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office kept the band from registering its name and rejected its appeal, citing the Lanham Act, which prohibits any trademark that could “disparage … or bring … into contemp[t] or disrepute” any “persons, living or dead,” as the court states.
After a federal court agreed with Tam and his band, the Patent and Trademark Office sued to avoid being compelled to register its name as a trademark. On Monday, the Supreme Court sided with The Slants.
Looks like Big Brother lost this round. Good.
Free Speech isn’t about whether something is offensive or not, it’s about FREE SPEECH.