David Cole writes:
As most legal experts pointed out after the decision, Tam will undoubtedly lead to the Washington Redskins football franchise being able to regain its trademarks (trademarks that were canceled by the government in 2014 because they were deemed “racially offensive”). So thanks to Tam, I can now trademark the name of my new Native American/Chinese-fusion restaurant, Big Chief Prairie Nigger’s Chinky Chinaman Rice & Buffalo Bowls. That’s a joke, of course. But what matters to me on this July 4th is that we live in a country in which I can make a patently offensive joke like that and not be hauled off to jail or a “human rights tribunal.” The Founding Fathers had a lot of ideas that were radical at the time. Challenging the divine right of kings, the right of a colony to break free from its mother nation, etc. Those ideas aren’t radical anymore. But the notion that unpopular, hateful, or inflammatory political and ideological speech should be given absolute protection from government censorship is still every bit as radical today as it was back then (indeed, perhaps more so).