The Supreme Court agreed Thursday to weigh in on whether the federal government’s refusal to grant offensive trademarks violates free speech, a case that could affect the Washington Redskins, the Associated Press reports.
The football team has been involved in a legal dispute over its name since the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office cancelled its trademark in 2014 on the grounds that “Redskins” is offensive to Native Americans.
But instead of directly taking up the team’s case, the Supreme Court agreed to consider the dispute of a Portland, Oregon-based rock band called The Slants. In this case, the patent office rejected The Slants’ trademark because its name disparages Asian Americans, according to the AP.
The justices will decide whether an appeals court was right in declaring the law against offensive trademarks unconstitutional.
The Redskins had asked the Supreme Court to hear the two cases together, according to USA Today, but the justices did not say Thursday what would happen in the team’s dispute.