Should Offensive Speech Be Protected?

In the Slate Plus bonus segment of Thursday’s edition of the Political Gabfest, First Amendment fans Emily, John, and Julia discuss two Supreme Court decisions: one striking down the disparagement clause in federal trademark law, and the other striking down a state law keeping sex offenders off social media.

Should any kind of speech—even that which is disparaging or offensive—be allowed to be trademarked? Does granting a trademark indicate an endorsement of such language? And does this mean that Washington’s NFL team gets to keep its controversial name?

The hosts also discuss whether banning registered sex offenders from social media goes too far.