….the right of the people to peaceably assemble…….
Is there an article or an amendment or a section or a clause in the Constitution which grants the people the right, or the freedom, of “association”? Not in so many words. But if not “the right of the people peaceably to assemble”, then what? And if the people do not start asserting this right ‘now’, then when?
The right of the people to assemble does not describe the method of assembly. The people may assemble in a physical body, such as at a political rally or at a concert. Or they may assemble symbolically through correspondence, communication or hailing one another from a distance, or by means of subscribing or paying dues or membership fees or honorariums or other commitments to desired organizations or enterprises. Or they may assemble by means of common membership in free association in an unlimited number of categories of pursuits – religious, political, social, educational, scientific, educational, recreational, vocational. There are no banned organizations in the United States of America. Nor are there any banned symbols or names or titles or representations. The combined freedoms of speech and assembly, ordaining the freedoms of expression and association, will not allow the federal government or any of it’s branches to infringe on peaceable assembly. Or to ban things.
The National Football League contains the word “National”, but that organization is not a creature of, nor is it licensed or chartered by, the US government. The only plausible reason for the US government to inject itself in any of the affairs of the National Football League would be some purported connection to “interstate commerce”.
As Grumpy Elder brought to our attention today, another federal judge in the grips of hysteria over words, symbols, beliefs and traditions has made it his business to say that a private enterprise, the Washington Redskins football team, has no exclusive right to present itself according to it’s own desires, intents and operational considerations.
It is yet another pathetic attempt to ban something which has been traditional on the American scene, as a part of either history, lore, tradition, enjoyment, discussion or enterprise. In league with the Neo-Left, the judiciary in this country is savaging constitution, common law, lore, learning and liberty.
For a branch of the judiciary to affirm the arbitrary, subjective and malfeasant action by the US Patent Office against the copyright, trademark and logo rights of longstanding ownership by the Washington Redskins, some complaint as to violation or infringement or commercial or other exploitive misuse would have to occur. Mere “offense” in respect to a trademark or logo, and most assuredly one in existence for decades, should not constitute grounds for a confiscatory act by an independent, non-judicial agency, and for the judge to have held their action lawful is a disgrace. The associates of the National Football League, the ones who organized and established and maintained it for their own purposes, would be the rightful ones to disqualify the trademark logo of one of their associates from being used in conjunction with the interest of the group. It is their club.
Further, since it is pointed out in the linked article that the likely result of the trademark being rescinded by the federal government would not necessarily mean that the Washington Redskins would be banned from using it, or that the NFL would have to eject the Washington team for their use of it, but that the Redskins would be denied the exclusivity of the logo’s use, what the result would be is likely the proliferation of copycat Redskin logos in publications and on merchandise and memorabilia. Which by any measure of logic and common sense would be antithetical to the judiciary’s supposed purpose of catering to the sensibilities of the presumed offended class. If the feds had a case, which they don’t, they destroyed it their own fine selves by being the agents of said proliferation.
That said, it is not suprising that the federal judiciary is insinuating itself into one more arena where the push is to negate the right of citizens engaged in any lawful enterprise or exercise to express themselves, collectively or individually, and to display or exhibit their logos and banners lawfully granted to them and therefore which would be customarily legally grandfathered from future prohibitions based on some newfound or newly professed ‘sensibility’, ‘meaning’, or other contrivance. They have now taken upon themselves, this third branch of government supposedly bound by the limits of constitutional expression and obliged to uphold both personal and corporate liberties and freedom of expression in accordance with the freedom of association, to say “That item is prohibited because it means something different on July 8th, 2015. Thus sayeth we.” Why is the effect of an ex post facto “ruling” any more palatable than an ex post facto law?
No it is not surprising at all. For this is the same federal judiciary which at this modern date presumes to redefine what “marriage” is and how those who come in contact with individualized or asserted or “modern” interpretations of it must act in the face of those sensibilities.
Neither that, nor this, is any of their business. Their business it to check the unlawful and anti-constitutional acts of the executive agencies, in this case the Patent Office. It is not their business to infringe in any way on the right of the people to peaceably assemble and their right to the equal treatment under the law, which the Patent Office has deigned to deny them.
And no, the Patent Office issuing or maintaining trademark rights doesn’t constitute government endorsement or promotion of the Washington Redskins or anything they do or say or any imaginary ‘disparagement’ of any group or class. It merely protects the property and proprietary rights of the issuee. And that is the sole function of the copyright, patent and trademark apparatus. If it is otherwise, then the disparagement, offense, slander and slur exhibited by the Hollywood movie industry, real or imagined or alleged, necessarily becomes grounds for rescinding a whole snootful of copyrights, trademarks and the like, now doesn’t it? Who’s up for smacking down some movie and TV and recording industry outfits while we’re at it?
These judicial entities of the federal government, which include the Department of Justice, by the way, are instituted in the first case to check each other, and “the government” itself vis-à-vis the citizens, and not to ‘police’ the people.
Crossposted at Grumpy Opinions