The Washington Redskins will be paying especially close attention to a United States Supreme Court hearing this week that could set precedent in the controversy over the team’s name.
The nation’s highest court will hear an argument regarding a case that’s six years old and could have wide-ranging ramifications on what happens with the Redskins.
According to the Associated Press (h/t ABC News), the court will hear opposing arguments regarding whether free speech supersedes perceived offensive trademarks in the eye of the federal government.
The case involves an Asian-American rock group called “The Slants,” whose trademark was denied by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office back in 2011 due to its racially insentive name.
This has been a pretty big part of the entire Redskins’ debate.
No matter how offensive a name might be, some argue that the protection of free speech in the United States should supersede a fraction of the population that finds a specific name offensive.
This comes the same week that a president in Barack Obama, who believes the Redskins should change their name, will be replaced by a president-elect in Donald Trup whose opinion runs contrary to that of his political rival. It also comes with a seat on the Supreme Court remaining open after the death of Antonin Scalia. Ultimately, that could help sway in what direction SCOTUS rules.
As it is, this is most definitely something to keep an eye on behind the scenes. If precedence is set at the highest levels here, it will have wide-ranging ramifications on what happens with the Redskins and their name.