ACLU Defends Washington Redskins, But Still Thinks They’re ‘A**holes’

Alex Griswold Media Reporter
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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has taken a stand in defense of the Washington Redskins’ right to have a trademark on their team name. But the left-leaning organization still hates it. (RELATED: Matthew McConaughey Is A Big Fan Of The Redskins Name)

The ACLU filed an amicus curiae on behalf on the Redskins in their fight to overturn the patent office’s decision to strip them of their trademark. “Few principles in constitutional law are as settled as the First Amendment’s prohibition on government regulation of private speech based on viewpoint,” the brief reads. “The courts have never blessed a government program that permits government actors to determine the acceptability of a speaker’s viewpoint and then condition benefits based on that determination.”

But the ACLU’s blog on the topic is titled, ‘You’re Not Wrong, You’re Just an A**hole’ (Coen Brothers enthusiasts will recognize the title as a quote from the 1998 cult classic “The Big Lebowski”). Staff attorney Esha Bhandari lays out the ACLU’s position that the Washington Redskins are right to challenge the PTO’s decision, and that denying trademarks based on offensiveness is arbitrary and foolish. But don’t worry, the liberal civil rights organization cautions supporters, they’re still assholes.

“The ACLU has a history of defending the speech rights of groups we disagree with, because the First Amendment doesn’t protect only popular ideas,” Bhandhari writes. “The Washington team’s choice of name is unfortunate. They should be – and are being – pressured to change it. But it isn’t government’s role to pick and choose which viewpoints are acceptable and which are not.”

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