Supreme Court versus 'Naughty Trademarks'

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A somewhat humorous article at Slate, by Mark Joseph Stern:  "The Supreme Court’s Naughty Trademarks Ruling Shows Why It Must Also Kill Partisan Gerrymandering."  The Supremes by a six/three majority** struck down portions of a federal law as unconstitutional -- affirming a lower-court decision taken on the case known as Iancu v. Brunetti (Andrei Iancu being the director of the Patent and Trademark Office). 

From Twitter:



From the article:



As Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the majority in Monday’s ruling, Matal requires the statute in Brunetti to fall, too. It is simply impossible to determine which trademarks are “immoral or scandalous” without evaluating the ideas they express. And only those trademarks that express ideas favored by the government receive registration. According to the standard dictionary definition, Kagan wrote, speech is “immoral” when it is “wicked” or “morally evil.” So the law “permits registration of marks that champion society’s sense of rectitude and morality, but not marks that denigrate those concepts.” Similarly, speech is “scandalous” when it is “shocking to the sense of truth, decency, or propriety.” So the law “allows registration of marks when their messages accord with, but not when their messages defy, society’s sense of decency or propriety.”

“Put the pair of overlapping terms together,” Kagan explained, and the statute “distinguishes between two opposed sets of ideas: those aligned with conventional moral standards and those hostile to them; those inducing societal nods of approval and those provoking offense and condemnation.” And trademarks that clash conventional morality are denied “valuable benefits.” But under the First Amendment, the government retains no power to disfavor speech that conveys ideas it dislikes. Thus, the ban must fall. [...]


** -- (from the Wikipedia article linked above: "The three, along with Alito in his concurring opinion, did express concern that this decision will lead to a flood of new trademarks that would be considered crude, and the creation of public spaces that would be repugnant to some people."

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1 minute ago, william.scherk said:

The Supremes by a six/three majority** struck down portions of a federal law as unconstitutional...


Two libs, Justices Breyer, and Sotomayor, and one wishy-wash semi-lib on the conservative side, Justice Roberts, were not amused at a FUCT legal protection. They voted against it.

What the hell is happening to the progressives?

Do some of them really want to censor foul language?

Did they go all Puritan all of a sudden?

I guess so.

Tsk tsk tsk...



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