Red Skinner: Obama Again Using ‘Regulation’ As A Weapon Against America

Barack Obama has become an expert at using his powers to regulate as a weapon to destroy Americans he doesn’t like. Just as he attempted to use the IRS to destroy conservatives, as he’s used the EPA to destroy our energy sector, as he used Obamacare to eliminate freedom of religion, Obama and his thuggish administration has now attempted to force a football team to stop using a name Obama doesn’t like.

On Wednesday Obama’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office summarily eliminated the trademark protection for the Washington Redskins’ name and it was done purely for political reasons, not legal reasons.

Obama’s lackeys told the NFL team that their name was ‘disparaging” to native Americans and so the government canceled six federal trademarks for the team.

“Petitioners have shown by a preponderance of the evidence that a substantial composite of Native Americans found the term Redskins to be disparaging,” Obama’s thugs said in the decision published on June 18.

This isn’t the first time that left-wing regulators tried to un-Constitutionally remove the protection of the law from the NFL team. As the Clinton years were coming to a close, the Patent Office tried the same thing for the same political reason.

Three years later the courts vacated the Patent Office’s politically correct action.

But what we have here is a nakedly political move by Obama to use government as a weapon against Americans. Even as he releases murderous terrorists so that they can go back to launching attacks on Americans, even as he allows tens of thousands, if not millions of disease-laden, illegal immigrants into the USA, even as he abuses every aspect of the Constitution to push his leftist, anti-American agenda, we see Obama again using the power of government to force his desires on America.

This is the single most lawless President in American history.

But he isn’t alone. Senate Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid appeared on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday to celebrate Obama’s actions and to note that the team will now be “forced” to change the team’s name because… well, because liberals say so.

Reid fully admitted to the obvious fact that this is an intimidation tactic and a violation of our private property rights. And he celebrates this destruction of the law.

We are no longer living in a representative democracy, my fellow Americans. We are living in a dictatorship.

In any case, the team released a statement reminding the nation that left-wingers have attempted to illicitly use the wheels of government as a weapon against them before.

“We’ve seen this story before. And just like last time, today’s ruling will have no effect at all on the team’s ownership of and right to use the Redskins name and logo.

‘Redskins Are Denied Trademarks’
-Washington Post, April 3, 1999

‘Redskins Can Keep Trademark, Judge Rules’
-Washington Post, October 2, 2003

We are confident we will prevail once again, and that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s divided ruling will be overturned on appeal. This case is no different than an earlier case, where the Board cancelled the Redskins’ trademark registrations, and where a federal district court disagreed and reversed the Board.

As today’s dissenting opinion correctly states, “the same evidence previously found insufficient to support cancellation” here “remains insufficient” and does not support cancellation.

This ruling – which of course we will appeal – simply addresses the team’s federal trademark registrations, and the team will continue to own and be able to protect its marks without the registrations. The registrations will remain effective while the case is on appeal.

When the case first arose more than 20 years ago, a federal judge in the District of Columbia ruled on appeal in favor of the Washington Redskins and their trademark registrations.


As the district court’s ruling made clear in 2003, the evidence ‘is insufficient to conclude that during the relevant time periods the trademark at issue disparaged Native Americans…’ The court continued, ‘The Court concludes that the [Board’s] finding that the marks at issue ‘may disparage’ Native Americans is unsupported by substantial evidence, is logically flawed, and fails to apply the correct legal standard to its own findings of fact.’ Those aren’t my words. That was the court’s conclusion. We are confident that when a district court review’s today’s split decision, it will reach a similar conclusion.

In today’s ruling, the Board’s Marc Bergsman agreed, concluding in his dissenting opinion:

It is astounding that the petitioners did not submit any evidence regarding the Native American population during the relevant time frame, nor did they introduce any evidence or argument as to what comprises a substantial composite of that population thereby leaving it to the majority to make petitioner’s case have some semblance of meaning.

The evidence in the current claim is virtually identical to the evidence a federal judge decided was insufficient more than ten years ago. We expect the same ultimate outcome here.”

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  • jim_m

    The ruling doesn’t mean a whole lot

    Even if the decision holds up on appeal (and I don’t know whether it will), the Redskins remain free to use those marks, and even sue over unauthorized use of the marks by others; they just don’t get the special protections against such uses by others that are offered by statutory registration. To quote the Patent & Trademark Office fact sheet on the case, those lost protections include:

    “the legal presumptions of ownership and of a nationwide scope of rights in
    these trademarks” (though I think the Redskins would likely prevail against those who sell unauthorized Redskins gear even without the benefit of these presumptions);

    “the ability to use the federal registration [R-in-a-circle] symbol,” and;

    “the ability to record the registrations with the U.S. Customs and Border
    Patrol Service so as to block the importation of infringing or counterfeit foreign goods.”

    All in all the loss is primarily symbolic and with the appeal still won’t take effect for probably at least 2 years.

    • warnertoddhuston

      It is nothing but an intimidation tactic. It doesn’t matte if this particular effort is important in and of itself. It is part of the over all attack. A nibbling away at our rights in general and an attack on the Redskins in particular.

      • jim_m

        I’s like the coverage of the John Doe investigation.

        With the release of the sealed court records all the media outlets are reporting the accusations of the prosecutors. Unfortunately, they fail to point out that multiple judges have ruled that the prosecutors overstepped their authority, abused the power of their offices and that even if those investigated did exactly what the prosecutors were accusing them of, no laws were broken.

        The media misses the point that this was a raw act of intimidation and simply doubles down on the democrat lies.

      • It’s also ex-post facto. Once granted it should not matter in the least if a future generation finds a trademark offensive; they are under no obligation to purchase anything displaying the offensive trademark, after all.

    • Commander_Chico

      Yah, I think they ought to change the name but this is bullshit.

      On the other hand, if you wanted to register “Jigaboo” soap with a drawing of some smiling black guy as a trademark, should it be allowed?

      Given that “Redskins” is an existing trademark as Jim points out, it’s wrong for the federal government to intervene and change a status without a hearing.

      • jim_m

        It’s what you have supported since 2009. obama rules by Presidential order and bureaucratic fiat. The dems haven’t believed in democracy for a very long time and now they are running the country that way.

      • So tell us chicka, just who do believe (here on Wizbang) gives a rat’s ass about your opinion on anything?

  • Retired military

    If they change the name I think it should be to something like
    Obama’s political correctors.
    Make it all about the man responsible.

  • GarandFan

    “Petitioners have shown by a preponderance of the evidence that a
    substantial composite of Native Americans found the term Redskins to be

    30% is now “a substantial composite”. 70% is evidently a “minority”.

  • Par4Course

    This was a 2-1 ruling by a 3-member court. While the opinion and dissent run well in excess of 100 pages, a brief review shows that the dissent is considerably more convincing than the majority opinion. The parties objecting to the trademark essentially used the same evidence as in the prior case where the court overturned a finding of offensiveness. The issue is whether the term “Redskins” was offensive at the time the trademarks were issued, NOT whether the term has become offensive since then. The evidence was insufficient before and is still insufficient. The decision will likely be overturned.

  • Paul Hooson

    This was a strange decision because I know of cases where this same office has granted trademarks to organizations and businesses recognized by the U.S Justice Department as organized crime organizations to sell or market goods. Even pornographic products or items are able to apply for patent or trademark status as long as they are not legally obscene, which pretty much means that everything can be trademarked as no prior restraint on the publications or items existed when the trademark was applied for.

  • john1v6

    I would love to see Snyder pick up the team and move it away from DC in retaliation for this. Other people have commented about making the name refer to red-skinned potatoes, so maybe they should move to Boise and become the Idaho Redskins

  • jim_m

    Since the ruling says that they can no longer use the “federal registration [R-in-a-circle] symbol,” I think they should go back to this logo from the early 70’s immediately:

  • Considering their record – the “Washingon Redshirts” might be more appropriate.
    (If you know SF tropes, you know that the ‘Redshirts’ on Star Trek have an exceedingly high mortality rate. Since the Redskins seem to die as soon as they take the field, it seems right to me!)