Right to Criticize National Organization, Radiance Foundation v. NAACP (amicus).
The Radiance Foundation is an extreme anti-abortion organization. In several online articles, it criticized the NAACP for what it perceived as the organization’s pro-abortion position, and referred to the NAACP as the “National Association for the Abortion of Colored People.” The NAACP sued, arguing that the use of its name had violated its trademark. The federal court in Norfolk agreed, and ordered Radiance to stop using the trademark “NAACP” in that manner. Radiance appealed. Along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, we filed an amicus brief arguing that Radiance’s criticism of NAACP, however abhorrent, was protected by the First Amendment. On May 19, 2015, the Fourth Circuit reversed the lower court, holding that the trademark law did not prohibit Radiance’s criticism.