Search Results for ‘slants trademark supreme court’

“Slants” band win trademark battle at high court

In a First Amendment win with many future implications — most immediately for the Washington Redskins football team — the Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment does not allow the Patent and Trademark Office to withhold trademark protection from a rock band because it considers its name to be possibly racially disparaging (or self-disparaging). The holding was unanimous, although the Justices divided on rationale. [Ilya Shapiro/Cato, Betsy Gomez/CBLDF, Eugene Volokh and more (“Supreme Court unanimously reaffirms: There is no ‘hate speech’ exception to the First Amendment”)] Earlier here (“Did Cato just file the most not-safe-for-work amicus brief in Supreme Court history?”), here, etc.

Supreme Court roundup

Supreme Court roundup

Free speech roundup

Constitutional law roundup

  • Even if troublesome for other reasons, discussion of nominees’ religious beliefs does not violate the Constitution’s Religious Test Clause [my post at Secular Right]
  • I’m quoted toward the end of this report: Congress rather than courts likely to get ultimate say on defining “emoluments” [NPR with Peter Overby, audio and related article, earlier]
  • Convention of the States? Federalist Society panel video with Thomas Brinkman, Jennifer Brunner, David Forte, Matt Huffman, Larry Obhof, Matthew Byrne [earlier on Article V conventions]
  • Supreme Court opened — and should now close — “dual sovereignty” exception to rule against double jeopardy [Ilya Shapiro, Cato]
  • Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 2008, has articles on the U.S. Constitution by David Mayer and on the rule of law by Norman Barry;
  • Following big First Amendment win in Slants case Matal v. Tam, feds drop effort to void trademark of Washington Redskins [Ilya Shapiro, Eugene Volokh, earlier]

Disparagement perfected: Cato brief in Lee v. Tam

Did Cato just file the most not-safe-for-work amicus brief in Supreme Court history? It’s on the question (Lee v. Tam) of whether the government can deny trademark protection to words and phrases that are slurs and, in so doing, gather to itself the task of defining what is a slur. The case, involving the Asian-American band The Slants, is widely seen as foreshadowing the eventual outcome of the challenge to the Washington Redskins’ trademark.

Joining Cato as amici: humorist and Cato fellow P.J. O’Rourke; Profs. Nadine Strossen, Clay Calvert, and Erik Nielson; the Reason Foundation; Frederick, Md.’s Flying Dog Brewery and famed artist Ralph Steadman, whose work adorns its labels; and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. It’s signed by Ilya Shapiro and Thomas Berry and written with Trevor Burrus’s assistance.

NSFW warning: as hinted, this brief uses obscene and disparaging words and phrases by the dozens and dozens, so be forewarned.