Tag: appeal

Washington NFL Team thinks that redneck trademarks are more offensive than racist sports team nickname

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This blog post contains a large amount of profanity, offensive language, and sexually-suggestive language. Reader discretion is advised.


The Washington NFL Team, whose real nickname I’m not going to mention due to it being offensive to Native Americans, recently filed an opening brief in an ongoing lawsuit against the federal government for stripping the team of the trademark for their racist team nickname. In the opening brief, the team effectively claimed that, among other things, “Redneck Army” apparel, is more offensive than their racist team nickname:

The notion that all two million currently-registered marks are government speech is astounding. It is equally disturbing. The PTO has registered hundreds if not thousands of marks that the Team believes are racist, or misogynistic, vulgar, or otherwise offensive. By way of example only, the following marks are registered today: TAKE YO PANTIES OFF clothing; DANGEROUS NEGRO shirts; SLUTSSEEKER dating services; DAGO SWAGG clothing; DUMB BLONDE beer; TWATTY GIRL cartoons; BAKED BY A NEGRO bakery goods; BIG TITTYBLEND coffee; RETARDIPEDIA website; MIDGET-MAN condoms and inflatable sex dolls; and JIZZ underwear. These are not isolated instances. The government routinely registers pornographers’ marks: TEENSDOPORN.COM, MILFSDOPORN.COM, THUG PORN, GHETTOBOOTY, and BOUND GANGBANGS are but a few.

[…]

…No one today thinks registration reflects government approval. But if this Court holds that it does, how will the government explain registrations like MARIJUANA FOR SALE, CAPITALISM SUCKS DONKEY BALLS, LICENSED SERIAL KILLER, YIDDISH, DIRTY WHOOORE CLOTHING COMPANY, and MURDER4HIRE? Why are numerous confederate-flag logos and so many lewd sexual depictions on a “government-curated Principal Register”? Does registration of THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS unconstitutionally endorse religion? As to the “Principal Register,” the government does not say where it is, what it looks like, or how we can get one. As far as we know, there is no government-issued “list” of registrations; one must conduct cumbersome, multi-step searches of PTO’s internet database.

The Washington NFL Team went even further and cited even more examples of trademarks that they think are more offensive than their racist team nickname that offends Native Americans:

Other startling examples that would reflect government endorsement under the decision below include: SHANK THE B!T@H board game; CRACKAAZZ SKATEBOARDS; ANAL FANTASY COLLECTION, KLITORIS, and OMAZING SEX TOYS sex toys; HOT OCTOPUSS anti-premature ejaculation creams; OL GEEZER wines; EDIBLE CROTCHLESS GUMMY PANTIES lingerie; WTFWORK? online forum; MILF WEED bags; GRINGO STYLE SALSA; MAKE YOUR OWN DILDO; GRINGO BBQ; CONTEMPORARY NEGRO, F’DUP, WHITE TRASH REBEL, I LOVE VAGINA, WHITE GIRL WITH A BOOTY, PARTY WITH SLUTS, CRIPPLED OLD BIKER BASTARDS, DICK BALLS, and REDNECK ARMY apparel; OH! MY NAPPY HAIR shampoos; REFORMED WHORES and WHORES FROM HELL musical bands; LAUGHING MY VAGINA OFF entertainment; NAPPY ROOTS records; BOOTY CALL sex aids; BOYS ARE STUPID, THROW ROCKS AT THEM wallets; and DUMB BLONDE hair products. Word limits prevent us from listing more.

What the Washington NFL Team is effectively trying to argue in federal court is that the majority owner of the team, Dan Snyder, thinks that sexually suggestive trademarks, drug-referencing trademarks, foreign language-referencing trademarks, trademarks for religious organizations, and…you guessed it…redneck trademarks are more offensive than a racist sports team nickname that offends Native Americans. That is so fucking absurd, it’s not funny. I come from a poor family in a redneck part of Illinois, and I am proud to consider myself a redneck. I am deeply offended by the Washington NFL Team’s bullshit argument that trademarks referencing rednecks are more offensive than a racist sports team nickname that offends Native Americans.

Regarding the other trademarks that the Washington NFL Team tried to cite in their defense of their racist team nickname, I’ll say this: if you think that “Take Yo Panties Off”, “Jizz”, “Marijuana for Sale”, “Yiddish”, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints”, and/or “Crackaazz Skateboards” are offensive, you either have a small penis, are bigoted, are stupid, or some combination thereof.

The lawsuit is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (4th Cir.), which includes the states of Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Washington NFL Team is headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia and plays its home games in Landover, Maryland.

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Apparent illegal coordination between one or more conservatives on the Wisconsin Supreme Court bench and right-wing groups

The progressive website ThinkProgress is reporting that one or more of the four conservative justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court have been involved in illegal coordination between their official campaign organizations and right-wing political organizations, according to a legal brief filed by Francis Schmitz, the special prosecutor in the John Doe II investigation into violations of campaign finance laws by Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. The name(s) of the justice(s) involved in the illegal coordination, the political groups involved in the illegal coordination, and the names of other individuals implicated were redacted because of Wisconsin state laws that govern John Doe investigations prohibiting the disclosure of identities until and unless charges are filed. Schmitz has asked for two of the justices to recuse themselves from the case, but the identities of those justices were redacted in the publicly-available version of the brief.

This development comes at the same time that the Wisconsin Supreme Court is hearing a case in which the conservative majority on the bench will probably decide to strike down the John Doe II probe, which is a flagrant conflict of interest, given that all four of the conservatives on the Wisconsin Supreme Court bench have benefited from money spent by right-wing groups that are implicated in the investigation. However, none of the four conservatives have shown any indication that they will recuse themselves from the case. Personally, I believe that all four of the conservatives on the Wisconsin Supreme Court bench, David Prosser, Michael Gableman, Patience Roggensack, and Annette Ziegler, should recuse themselves from all cases involving the John Doe II probe that are brought before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Supreme Court to hear cases that could bring marriage equality to entire country

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a group of cases that could legalize same-sex marriage in the entire country. The consolidation cases are from the 6th Circuit Court of Federal Appeals, which ruled against marriage equality last year:

The Supreme Court has just granted certiorari — i.e. agreed to hear oral arguments — in the Sixth Circuit marriage cases. They were consolidated.

This means that the question of whether or not the United States Constitution protects the freedom of same-sex couples to marry is likely to be decided by the end of June.

It will be only a matter of months before the fate of marriage equality in this country will be decided by our nation’s highest court. Marriage equality supporters need at least one of the five conservative justices on the bench to side with all four of the liberal justices in a ruling declaring bans on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional in order for marriage equality to become law of the land nationwide.

U.S. Supreme Court lists marriage equality cases for consideration at its next conference

The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS), which has five Republican-appointed judges and four Democratic-appointed judges, has formally listed seven marriage equality cases with cert petitions pending from five different states (three from Virginia and one each from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin) for consideration at its upcoming conference on September 29, the first such conference after SCOTUS’s summer recess began:

The U.S. Supreme Court has formally listed all marriage cases with cert petitions pending — Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Indiana — for consideration on September 29, at its very first conference after coming back from summer recess.

Kathleen Perrin, the legal eagle behind Equality Case Files, adds: “While this is an encouraging move, if the Court follows the pattern it followed last term, no case will be granted cert without being relisted at least once… For comparison, the (California) Prop 8 case was distributed to four conferences and (United States v.) Windsor to three before the Court granted cert in those cases.”

Indeed, the AP reports that the justices could put off deciding to take up a case until as late as January and still be able to hear arguments and issue a decision by the end of June.

The marriage equality cases that have been formally listed by SCOTUS are as follows: Herbert v. Kitchen (Utah), Smith v. Bishop (Oklahoma), Rainey v. Bostic (Virginia), Schaefer v. Bostic (Virginia), McQuigg v. Bostic (Virginia), Bogan v. Baskin (Indiana), and Walker v. Wolf (Wisconsin). SCOTUS could decide to take up the marriage equality cases at its next convention or at a later date.

I hope that the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling in favor of marriage equality for the entire country because same-sex couples deserve the same right to marry that heterosexual couples currently enjoy. Given that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the discriminatory federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) for violating the U.S. Constitution last year with Republican-appointed justice Anthony Kennedy joining Democratic-appointed justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer, those same five justices forming a majority opinion in favor of marriage equality is certainly a possible outcome.