Freedom of speech is one of the most basic tenant of the United States’ unique and beautiful system of government. Allowing the citizens of a nation to criticize the government for it’s actions makes a lot of sense when you consider that we’re supposed to be deciding who runs the government.
Allowing people to criticize other people’s actions is a less fun to be apart of, however if the government decided to get involved in every petty dispute, the court system would end up looking like bunch of pre-schoolers coming up on a hard nap time. Allowing us to disagree without violence not only keeps down on confusion, it hopefully allows us to hear other opinions and learn new things.
In one such case, the Supreme Court allowed all of the easially offended to learn that they can’t use the law to bend other people’s words to their own will. And I think that’s a great thing for anyone to learn.
In a decision that could benefit the NFL’s Washington Redskins, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday threw out a federal prohibition on disparaging trademarks as a constitutional violation in a major free speech ruling involving a band called The Slants.
The court ruled 8-0 in favor of the Portland, Oregon-based Asian-American dance rock band, which had been denied a trademark because the government deemed its name disparaging to people of Asian descent. The Slants challenged that rejection as a violation of free speech rights under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, and the Supreme Court agreed.
I’m very happy that the court ruled in favor of free speech, I’m just concerned as to why it got all the way to the Supreme Court in the first place. It’s such an obvious first amendment right to name a band whatever you want. I suspect the founding father’s kids didn’t have any garage bands, but if they did, the only ones telling them what they could and couldn’t name it would be their actual fathers, not the government they were setting up to allow freedom of speech.
Thankfully, the court did uphold the constitution and justice is served, but now we’re going to have to sludge through all the other cases where someone was offended for no particular reason and tried to push their way on someone else and call it sensitivity.
(Reuters) The ruling likely paves the way for the Redskins to protect trademarks covering the team’s name.
The National Football League team, which took the name Redskins in the 1930s, filed a legal challenge to a 2014 decision by a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office tribunal canceling its trademarks as disparaging to Native Americans. A lower court put the Redskins’ dispute on hold pending the outcome of the band’s case.
Lisa Blatt, a lawyer representing the Redskins, told Reuters the team is thrilled with Monday’s ruling because it resolves “the Redskins’ long-standing dispute with the government.”
Writing for the court, Justice Samuel Alito did not mince words in ruling that the decades-old trademark provision is unconstitutional. “It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend,” Alito wrote.
If you’d like a little run down of how the government is allowed to get involved in your speech, here’s a quick and dirty explanation for you:
Freedom of speech isn’t freedom from someone else’s’ speech. If you need that you might want to invest in some good noise canceling headphones. If the plaintiff had won, and the band had been banned from using the name they wanted, it would have been, at best, a hollow and short term victory.
I’ve got the right to say things you don’t like, and you’ve got the right to argue with me or complain about it. If you try to set a legal precedent that takes either one of those rights away, we would probably lose both of them. Like I said, short term gain, long term loss.
(H/T: The Gateway Pundit)