The Justice Department has just dropped the challenge leveled against the Washington Redskins name.
As originally reported by the AP, the Supreme Court’s decision in Matal v. Tam was found in favor of the Asian-American band “the Slants”. The case of Matal v. Tam and the ongoing battle against the “RedSkins” team name were closely tied. The Redskins lawsuit was pending as “the Slants” lawsuit continued; had this case favored in the opposite direction, it would have leveled a major blow to free speech in America.
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This was never just about the name of a band, or the name of a football team. This was about a tipping point in American culture that we might have never been able to recover from. Had the courts decided otherwise, it would have set a terrifying precedent whereby select groups of people would be able to regulate our speech, and the expression of everyone from athletes to artists. The left argued that one person’s expression was another’s “oppression” – that false argument was shut down today.
VIA THE HILL:
In the Thursday letter, the Justice Department argues that the Matal V. Tam decision means that the court would decide in favor of the Washington Redskins if the case went before the justices.
Last week, Redskins owner Dan Snyder drew the same conclusion, and said he was “thrilled” by the court’s decision in the copyright case His lawyer, Lisa Blatt, issued a statement saying that the court’s decision resolved the dispute over the NFL team’s name.
Snyder and his wife have a close relationship with President Trump and his administration. In January, Snyder attended an exclusive inauguration celebration with Trump’s Cabinet members, and Snyder’s wife donated to Trump’s campaign in 2015.
Weeks after Snyder’s wife made the donation, Trump spoke out about the team name controversy, suggesting it should remain the Redskins.
“I know Indians that are extremely proud of that name,” Trump said in October of 2015.
“Honestly, I don’t think they should change the name, unless the owner wanted to.”
In 2014, the the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the “Redskins” trademark, saying the team name and logo were disparaging to Native Americans.