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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see reports that North Korea is prepared to release three U.S. prisoners, but they’re still cautious about why Kim Jong-Un is suddenly so eager to find common ground. They also shake their heads as Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani reveals that President Trump did reimburse Michael Cohen for his $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, although he claims Trump didn’t know what the reimbursement was for. And they react to the New York Times story alleging the Washington Redskins took passports away from cheerleaders on a trip to Costa Rica, allowed male sponsors and suite holders to watch the cheerleaders in various states of undress on the photo shoot, and assigned some of them to serve as escorts for the sponsors.
In January, I posted about Simon Tam and his band The Slants, which had been denied trademark protection on the grounds that the name is racially insensitive and therefore forbidden in the marketplace. This morning I see that Tam has won his case, the Court unanimously concurring but issuing two opinions, one written by Justice Alito and concurred with by the Chief Justice, Justice Thomas, and Justice Breyer; the other by Justice Kennedy who was joined by Justices Kagan, Sotomayor, and Ginsburg in a separate opinion that affirmed in part and concurred in the judgment.
From Alito’s opinion:
Perhaps the most worrisome implication of the Government’s argument concerns the system of copyright registration. If federal registration makes a trademark government speech and thus eliminates all First Amendment protection, would the registration of the copyright for a book produce a similar transformation? See 808 F.3d, at 1346 (explaining that if trademark registration amounts to government speech, “then copyright registration” which “has identical accoutrements” would “likewise amount to government speech”). The Government attempts to distinguish copyright on the ground that it is “‘the engine of free expression,’” Brief for Petitioner 47 (quoting Eldred v. Ashcroft, 537 U. S. 186, 219 (2003)), but as this case illustrates, trademarks often have an expressive content. Companies spend huge amounts to create and publicize trademarks that convey a message. It is true that the necessary brevity of trademarks limits what they can say. But powerful messages can sometimes be conveyed in just a few words. Trademarks are private, not government, speech.
It’s a long-settled question that the Washington Post doesn’t care for the Washington Redskins. The editorial board has already formally announced that the paper will never use the team nickname, except in the sports section. Over and above that, now-departed columnist Mike Wise spent much of the latter part of his tenure at the Post railing against […]
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