Culture&Arts

Supreme Court ruling a good sign for the Redskins

Supreme Court ruling a good sign for the Redskins

The US Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of an Asian-American band calling themselves The Slants, who had been denied the right to trademark their name because it was deemed a racial slur.

Redskins attorney Lisa Blatt said the court's decision effectively resolves the Redskins' longstanding dispute with the government.

"In today's decision, there was no dissent from any side of the spectrum".

"It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend", Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the court.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had denied the group's application under a law that bars federal trademark protection for messages that "may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute".

The Redskins' case is now at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which has been waiting for the Supreme Court's decision in the Tam case. The team has kept use of its registrations while the case is under appeal.

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The same newspaper had a photo on the first page, with citizens celebrating the win by bursting firecrackers on Sunday night. Two mainstream newspapers, Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader had a similar headline.

It would be hard to square a ruling against the Redskins in light of the Supreme Court's full-throated defense of free speech.

Despite the high court's ruling in Tam, Blackhorse believes that the morality still lies with her cause.

"If the federal registration of a trademark makes the mark government speech, the federal government is babbling prodigiously and incoherently", he wrote.

Lawrence Nodine, an intellectual property litigator who was one of three who wrote an amicus brief for the International Trademark Association in the band's case, said the decision was the right outcome. "But in my view it was just not possible to defend the statute". The band also had the support of a group of constitutional law professors who argued the Lanham Act's disparagement clause is unconstitutional.

FILE - In this September 18, 2016 file photo, a Washington Redskins helmet is seen on the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Landover, Md.

Examples of government speech include advertisements promoting the sale of beef that were authorized by Congress and paid for by the Department of Agriculture, monuments donated to public parks, and license plates issued by states.

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Amir struck just three balls into India's reply when, after bowling two outswingers to Sharma, he had him lbw with an inswinger. Hardik Pandya cheered India fans in a capacity crowd as he hit three sixes off successive balls to bring up a dashing fifty.

"The First Amendment guards against laws 'targeted at specific subject matter, ' a form of speech suppression known as content based discrimination", their decision statement said.

It was under the disparagement clause that Blackhorse and a group of other plaintiffs got the Patent and Trademark Office to say in 2014 that the Washington team could not have a trademark on the name "Redskins" - a decision that the team has challenged in court.

Schiller, the intellectual property attorney at Boies Schiller Flexner in NY, is a lifelong fan of the team.

But Amanda Blackhorse, a Navajo woman who has been the lead plaintiff in a yearslong legal fight against the team's name, said the fight is not over, adding that years of litigation have found that "the term is offensive". Justice Neil Gorsuch did not take part in the ruling because the case was argued before he joined the Supreme Court.

"Nothing in the opinion undermines the decisions of the TTAB or the District Court that the term "redskin" disparages Native Americans", the group said in a written statement. The question for the team is: "Why would you want to?"

Pakistan cricket back on track with Champions Trophy win: Afridi
Pakistani cricket fans cheer as they watch on screen the Champions Trophy final between Pakistan and India, on June 18, 2017. About Aamir, whose career has seen dramatic ups and downs, Arthur said: "Well, we spoke about it in the team meeting".


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