The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a law which prohibits the government from registering trademarks that “disparage” other trademarks violates the First Amendment. This ruling could impact the Washington Redskins organization's efforts to keep its controversial name.
The court ruled 8-0 in favor of Asian-American rock band The Slants, which had been denied a trademark because the government deemed its name disparaging to people of Asian descent.
Band frontman Simon Tam, who is of Asian descent, claimed that he chose the band's name to reclaim a term some consider a derogatory reference the shape of an Asian person's eyes. Tam said he wanted to wear it as a "badge of pride."
The rock band later challenged the government's rejection as a violation of the band's right to free speech under the First Amendment, and the Supreme Court voted in their favor.
The latest ruling will likely pave the way for the Redskins to protect trademarks covering the team's name.
Lisa Blatt, a lawyer representing the Redskins team told Reuters the team is thrilled with Monday's ruling because it resolves "the Redskins' long-standing dispute with the government."