In what can only be seen as a major blow to political correctness, a defeat to the Obama Regime, and a victory for free speech, the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 (new justice Neil Gorsuch wasn’t involved in the case) on Monday that the federal government cannot discriminate against trademarks it views as offensive speech.
The case involved Simon Tam, the lead singer of the rock group “The Slants,” an exclusively Asian band who had the trademark request denied by the Obama Patent and Trademark Office because they believed some might view the name “The Slants” as being a derogatory slur towards Asians.
“The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) denied the application under a Lanham Act provision prohibiting the registration of trademarks that may ‘disparage . . . or bring. . . into contemp[t] or disrepute’ any “persons, living or dead,'” Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who delivered the opinion of the court explained in the ruling.
However, the Court ruled that “The disparagement clause violates the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause. Contrary to the Government’s contention, trademarks are private, not government speech. Because the “Free Speech Clause . . . does not regulate government speech.”
Furthermore, Justice Alito argued that “if private speech could be passed off as government speech by simply affixing a government seal of approval, government could silence or muffle the expression of disfavored viewpoints,” which would obviously be a bastardization of the First Amendment.
Similarly, the Obama Regime, with the assist of former Democrat leader in the Senate, the newly retired Harry Reid, had been hellbent to get the Washington Redskins to change their team name, claiming that the word is offensive to American Indians even though the original naming of the team — eight decades ago — originated as a Native American expression of solidarity, as explained by Redskins owner Bruce Allen to Reid in a 2014 letter.
That same year, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board revoked six federal trademark registrations belonging to the Washington Redskins, a ruling which was affirmed by a federal judge in 2015.
Even the Washington Post, a leading member of the Democrat Media Complex, reported last year that 9 in 10 Native Americans aren’t offended by the Redskins moniker. But now that makes no difference after today’s ruling even if the numbers were reversed.
“Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote.