In a unanimous decision on Monday, the Court ruled that a federal law banning the trademark of offensive names is unconstitutional, reported Fox News.
An Asian-American band wanted to copyright their group name “The Slants” but couldn’t because of a 70-year old “disparagement clause” which the Court has now overruled.
This was not only a huge victory for the rather obscure band, but for free speech, in general. It is currently under attack by social justice warriors who claim that offensive language should be banned including the name of the NFL’s Washington Redskins.
“(The idea that the government may restrict) speech expressing ideas that offend … strikes at the heart of the First Amendment,” wrote Justice Alito in his opinion. “Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express ‘the thought that we hate.’”
“A law found to discriminate based on viewpoint is an ‘egregious form of content discrimination,’ which is ‘presumptively unconstitutional,’” Justice Kennedy wrote in a separate opinion. “A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all. The First Amendment does not entrust that power to the government’s benevolence. Instead, our reliance must be on the substantial safeguards of free and open discussion in a democratic society.”
Social justice warriors, who hate free speech and use identity politics for anything, were openly perturbed by the decision, especially given that even Ruth Bader Ginsberg sided with the majority decision.
Prominent Democrats had been hoping to capitalize on the craze from social justice warriors against hate speech, including Howard Dean who ran for DNC chairman after announcing that offensive language wasn’t protected by the First Amendment.
Now if only college administrations could get with the program and allow prominent conservatives to speak on campus.