Speaking of free speech…

Posted: April 9, 2014 by watsonthethird in Current Events, Free Speech, Politics
Tags: , , , ,

From National Memo:

Disappointing — and slightly embarrassing — news arrived on Tuesday for conservative Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, when a federal judge ruled in favor of MoveOn.Org, the liberal organization that put up a billboard in the state slamming Jindal’s refusal to expand Medicaid.

MoveOn had been sued in March by lieutenant governor Jay Dardenne, whose office runs the state’s tourism industry. Dardenne, representing the state of Louisiana, accused the group of slandering the “Louisiana: Pick Your Passion” motto when it set up a billboard in the Baton Rouge area that read, “LOU!SIANA: Pick Your Passion! But hope you don’t love your health. Gov. Jindal’s denying Medicaid to 242,000 people.” According to the suit, because MoveOn.org used the tourism campaign logo to blast an elected official, it had violated trademark laws.

Because nothing says freedom of speech and anti-censorship more than a Republican administration suing a non-profit political organization it doesn’t like to try to force them to take down a billboard the governor likes even less. His lackeys claimed the billboard slandered(!) the state motto, violated the state’s trademarks, and caused overall confusion for drivers everywhere.

Yup. Those conservatives just hate censorship of any kind.

Louisiana-billboard

The billboard reads “Louisiana: Pick you passion! But hope you don’t love your health. Gov. Jindal’s denying Medicaid to 242,000 people.” Louisiana is one of 24 states that have refused to expand Medicaid because of their leaders’ political objections to “ObamaCare.” The “Pick your passion” phrase is also used by the state’s travel authority, and MoveOn used a similar font for the state name as the travel authority does. So that was the basis of the lawsuit filed by the state, although as the judge recognized, the real reason was clearly the fact that Gov. Jindal et al just doesn’t like to be criticized in public.

In her ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Shelly Dick said, “The State has not demonstrated a substantial likelihood of prevailing on its burden of proving confusion by viewers of the billboard. Furthermore, the State has failed to demonstrate a compelling reason to curtail MoveOn.org’s political speech in favor of protecting of the State’s service mark.”

Remember when Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was actually considered a frontrunner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination? He still thinks he’s in the running, but he really does need to get a grip.

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