Curse words are constitutional, Supreme Court says

By mbrooks on June 24, 2019
The front facade of the United States Supreme Court in Washington D.C.

By Matthew Brooks

On Monday, the Supreme Court made curse words constitutional.

The highest court in the land struck down a law that prevented “immoral” or “scandalous” words and symbols that the government sees as offensive or vulgar from being trademarked.

The new ruling states that is unconstitutional to ban speech based on viewpoint.

The ruling went on to say that the law cannot support words that uphold a morality or virtue and simultaneously ban words that denigrate it.

The government can’t discriminate

Under the First Amendment, the government cannot favor certain ideas and disfavor others, writes Justice Elena Kagan.

The government may not discriminate against speech based on ideas or opinions, Kagan writes.

The First Amendment does not permit the government to discriminate based on moral standards, according to the Court opinion.

Offensive speech is protected by law

The Supreme Court justice wrote that it is understandable that the trademark office would make those decisions. Nevertheless, the First Amendment protects “ideas that offend.”

The Court overturned a law that had been in place since 1905.

The court wrote that the policy against immoral or scandalous “must be invalidated.”

From 2005 to 2015 the US Patent and Trademark Office turned down about 150 trademarks per year on the grounds that naughty words can’t be trademarked.

An L.A.-based street clothes designer brought the challenge to the law which the Supreme Court overturned.



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