Apparently there is a statute that gives the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office the legal authority to revoke a trademark it deems to be “immoral” “scandalous” or “disparaging,” and the Constitution explicitly grants Congress the power to regulate copyrights and patents (Article I, Section 8, clause 8), so the federal government’s revocation of the Washington Redskins name appears legal on the surface, though I can imagine a number of avenues for legal challenge that might yet succeed. I’ll leave this to practicing lawyers to dilate.
Do we want bureaucrats making these kind of decisions under political pressure from Harry ReidTM ? That’s the question Mark Randazza asks at CNN.com. By the way, how come CNN continues to use “Redskins” in its news copy if it is a racial slur equivalent to N—–? They wouldn’t use the N-word in a news story would they? (Oh that’s right–they actually did that once. Actually, more than once, with an f-bomb just for good measure. As Rick Perry might say, “oops.”)
Anyway, Blake Neff and Jonah Bennett at the Daily Caller have done the public service of noting what trademarks the U.S. has deemed not to be so offensive that they aren’t banned, including:
Seriously? But wait—there’s more:
The last word on this subject (for today) is Bill Voegeli’s terrific article “Redskins and Thin Skins” in the latest Claremont Review of Books, which you’ll already have if you’re a subscriber, and if not, why not?