Supreme Court Unanimously Rules in Favor of Free Speech in Rock Band Trademark

1 slants

In an 8-0 verdict, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a 71-year-old law banning offensive trademarks is unconstitutional. This is win for the First Amendment and free speech by allowing controversial and potentially offensive speech within the country.

The case was brought to the court by the Asian-American band, The Slants, who chose their name in order to reclaim the derogatory term used against Asian people. Their trademarked was denied because of the name’s offensive history.

Simon Tam, lead singer of the group, explained “We need to allow freedom of expression, especially with those you disagree with the most. Satire, humor, wit and irony — those are the things that will truly neuter malice.”

Justice Samuel Alito delivered the verdict stating “We now hold that this provision violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it  expresses ideas that offend.”

In a country where it seems that members of the far-left and far-right are continually trying to silence voices of dissent and make “hateful” speech illegal, it’s great to see American principles upheld to allow art and speech to continue to thrive.


Author: Luke Henderson

Since joining the Libertarian Party in 2016 (after discovering Gary Johnson as a disaffected Bernie Sanders supporter), Luke Henderson has been active in the liberty movement through journalism, and political activism. At the beginning of 2017, Luke had his first piece of writing published by Being Libertarian and quickly became a contributor to the libertarian news site, The Libertarian Vindicator. Through the Vindicator, Luke discovered his passion for addressing critics of the philosophy and bringing together different factions of liberty lovers which compelled him to become an editor for The Libertarian Coalition, a forum dedicated to an open-minded discussion of libertarian ideas from all walks. After many guest contributions to Being Libertarian, Luke was asked to join the website as a contributor, where he writes his column Scoring For Liberty, which discusses sports, politics, and economics from a libertarian lens, and his Educator series that seeks to strengthen libertarian’s understanding of educational techniques and policy to better arguments against public education. Luke is one of the District 1 Executive Committeemen for the Missouri Libertarian party, and the founder of the Missouri Chapter of the Libertarian Positivity Caucus. Outside of politics, Luke is a paraprofessional for the Special School District of St. Louis, a musician, composer, and a loving husband and father.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s