"A 17-year effort to end the use of the Washington Redskins’ name hit a stone wall Nov. 16 when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a lawsuit over the NFL team’s name and trademark.
Four justices needed to vote to hear the case for it to be heard. By declining the case, the Supreme Court let stand an earlier federal appeals court ruling that said the plaintiffs in the lawsuit had waited too long to file the suit.
The high court’s decision, which it made with no comment, struck a serious blow to efforts to end the team’s use of the name Redskins.
It was an anti-climactic and frustrating end to a lawsuit that had come to represent for many in Indian country the most visible and persistent effort by a sports team to continue its use of an offensive Indian team name and mascot.
The lawsuit’s plaintiffs – including lead plaintiff Suzan Shown Harjo, Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee – had argued that U.S. trademark law does not protect such racist names.
The term “redskins” actually refers to the Indian skins and body parts that bounty hunters had to show in order to receive payment for killing Indians, the National Congress of American Indians argued in a brief filed before the high court."
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Editorial: Supreme Court drops the ball on Redskins suit
(Indian Country Today 11/20)