Patterico's Pontifications

3/20/2016

Feds Thumb Nose at Court in Slants Case, Court Says “Oh Hell No”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:29 pm

So last Monday evening I had the pleasure of attending a talk given by Ron Coleman about the Slants case. (Regular readers know that Ron Coleman of Archer & Greiner and the Likelihood of Confusion blog and Bruce Godfrey of Jezic & Moyse LLC, have been representing me for what seems like forever in a frivolous lawsuit brought by convicted bomber and perjurer Brett Kimberlin.) For background on the Slants case, please read my post Ron Coleman Wins Historic First Amendment Victory in Trademark Case.

In a nutshell, Ron convinced the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals sitting en banc that, as the court held: “The government cannot refuse to register disparaging marks because it disapproves of the expressive messages conveyed by the marks.” Accordingly, the court found that the provision in federal law that allows the USPTO to deny or cancel a trademark as “disparaging” is unconstitutional. The decision will undoubtedly serve as a help to the Redskins in protecting their trademark, and is a landmark First Amendment case.

In his talk, Ron told the assembled crowd what the USPTO had done in response to the Federal Circuit’s decision. The answer: precisely nothing. This is, of course, entirely unacceptable — and Ron hinted that he was going to take action, although he couldn’t talk about the specifics just yet.

Indeed he had. On the day after he spoke to us, Ron filed a petition for writ of mandamus, which you can read here. And on the very same day, the Federal Circuit issued an order to show cause. [UPDATE: A commenter corrects this to “an order that the USPTO respond to the petition.” Here is a link to the order. Thanks to commenter mh.] They have until this Tuesday to explain why they have taken it upon themselves to defy the court’s order. Marc Randazza at Popehat compares the USPTO’s inaction to Bartleby’s refrain: “I would prefer not to.”

Guess what, USPTO guys? Your preferences are subordinate to the U.S. Constitution and its First Amendment. Ron Coleman is holding your feet to the fire, and on Tuesday I will close my eyes and savor the aroma of your burning foot-flesh.

Here’s What Happened At The Trump Rallies In Arizona

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:39 am

[guest post by Dana]

At a campaign rally last night in Arizona, Donald Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was caught on video yanking a young protester by the collar, albeit not towards the ground as Michelle Fields alleged he did to her.

The Trump campaign immediately released the following statement:

Corey Lewandowski was speaking with a protestor at today’s rally in Tuscon, Arizona when the individual he was speaking with was pulled from behind by the man to Lewandowski’s left. The video clearly shows the protestor reacting to the man who pulled him, not to Mr. Lewandowski. Mr. Trump does not condone violence at his rallies, which are private events paid for by the campaign.

This morning, Trump told George Stephanopoulos that the police were a little lax, and then gave Lewandowski credit for having spirit:

Here is another incident caught on video from a different rally last night in Arizona. An alleged Trump supporter is seen pummeling a protester:

Here is the same incident from another angle:

Also, CNN reported about another rally disruption :

As he made his remarks, Trump was repeatedly interrupted by protesters, some of whom engaged in physical altercations with supporters. Behind Trump, a standoff between security and about two dozen demonstrators in the bleachers took place.

At one point, Trump turned around at the podium as he watched protesters escorted out of the venue.

“These are not good people folks,” Trump said, adding, “They’re not really protesters, they’re agitators.”

–Dana

UPDATE: According to this report by John Fund, security inside a venue like the one where the Trump rally was held is the responsibility of the organizer:

My brother Robert was on the Tucson police force for 30 years, and he told me today that at a private arena such as the one Trump spoke at the responsibility for security INSIDE the arena is left to the organizer, not the local police. A currently serving police officer who attended the rally and is a Trump supporter told me that he viewed the private security Trump had there as the ones who were “lax.” He said that hiring off-duty cops is expensive at $30-plus an hour, and many private events don’t hire any, or only a couple. “The security I saw at the rally were unprofessional and looked like rent-a-cops,” he told me. “It is insulting of Donald Trump to blame the police for his rally problems and we clearly were not.”


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