June 19, 2017

Whiff of Sanity: Supremes Allow Registration of Trademarks Seen As ‘Disparaging’

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:19 pm

Hard to believe, but the decision was unanimous (HT RedState), and will almost certainly make the lives of the ninnies who are abusing the court system to force the Washington Redskins (and, almost certainly, the Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves after that) to change their team names:

Supreme Court says government can’t refuse disparaging trademarks

The government cannot censor trademarks on the grounds they may be offensive to some, the Supreme Court ruled Monday in a major decision that could also clear the way for the Washington Redskins football team to maintain its trademarks.

The case before the high court involved an Asian rock band named “The Slants.” The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office originally denying the band’s name, saying it was a racial slur that violated the agency’s policy, based on federal law, that prohibits granting disparaging trademarks.

Justices, though, said that violated the First Amendment.

“Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said in his opinion for the court.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which supported the band, said Monday’s ruling was a huge win for the First Amendment and prevents the government from policing speech.

The ruling was 8-0, though four justices joined a concurring opinion. Justice Neil Gorsuch didn’t participate in the case.

Government lawyers had argued that since a federal agency ruled on trademarks, they amounted to a form of government speech. That, the lawyers said, meant the government had the right to prohibit ones deemed offensive.

The court, though, said trademarks are private speech.

“Government lawyers” in this instance means “nutty Obama administration lawyers at his Justice Department.” Given that they couldn’t even convince the far-left likes of Ruth Bader Ginsburg or “wise Latina” Sonia Sototmayor that they had a case, “nutty” is not an extreme descriptor at all.

The unanimous nature of the decision, in my view, also betrays the fact that Obama’s Department of Justice really knew they would lose if the case got to the Supremes, and was hoping to intimidate the plaintiffs into giving in and settling, thereby setting a precedent for turning the Patent Office into a premanent branch of the left’s Speech Police.

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UPDATE: It gets better. This opinion makes it crystal clear, despite at least four decades of PC efforts to make it so, that there is (still) no genuine Constitutional basis for the government banning or even regulating “offensive” speech or even arbitrarily defined (by people, almost invariably leftists who want to silence the right, who claim to know what’s best for us) “hate speech” —

“… speech that some view as racially offensive is protected not just against outright prohibition but also against lesser restrictions.”

Imagine that.

AP Avoids ID’ing Hodgkinson’s ‘Piece of Paper’ As a List of Freedom Caucus Republicans

Saturday evening, Eric Tucker and Erica Werner at the Associated Press were clearly determined to tell readers as little as they possibly could about the list of GOP lawmakers’ names found on James Hodgkinson after he was killed trying to assassinate several congressmen and others present at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia on Wednesday. In doing so, the AP pair failed to disclose details already reported by several media outlets.

(more…)

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (061917)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:55 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Connecticut educator using his ALS diagnosis to teach students about life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 8:50 am

From Greenwich, Connecticut:

Jun 19, 2017, 8:44 AM ET

The head of an elementary school in Connecticut is inspiring students with his optimism and honesty as he continues to work despite being diagnosed with Asymotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) nearly 11 months ago.

“I have the best job in the world,” Andrew Niblock, the head of the Greenwich Country Day School’s lower school told ABC News’ Lara Spencer. “There might be somebody out there who gets more hugs than I do, during their work day, but I’d like to meet them.”

“I get to greet 417 smiling, skipping, laughing, children every day,” Niblock added. “It energizes me, it gives me that sense of purpose.”

The 42-year-old father of two said that he decided to continue to work, despite being diagnosed with the incurable disease around 11 months ago, because he wanted to be an example for his students and teach them a lesson about life.

“I want children to understand curve balls,” Niblock said. “No matter what is thrown your way … if a kid powers through or makes the most of something later because of knowing me, that’d be great.”

ALS, a rare and incurable nervous system disease, is characterized by progressive muscle weakness, according to the ALS Association. The disease gained widespread awareness after baseball legend Lou Gehrig succumbed to it in 1941. …

Go here for the rest of the story.