ACLU sides with Redskins, argues canceling trademark violates team's free-speech rights

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ALEXANDRIA, Virginia — The American Civil Liberties Union is siding with the Washington Redskins in a court battle over the team's name.

The ACLU filed papers last week supporting the team's position that canceling the Redskins trademark violates the team's free-speech rights.

A federal panel ruled last year the trademark should be canceled, but the team is challenging that decision in federal court in Alexandria.

In its brief, the ACLU says it has joined others in calling on the Redskins to change their name because it is offensive. But they say the government cannot cancel the trademark simply because it finds the name disparaging.

On Monday, lawyers for the Native Americans who challenged the trademark said the ACLU should not be allowed to intervene in the case.

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