NAACP Sues The Radiance Foundation To Censor Black Citizen Journalist's Free Speech
Mar 24, 2015, 10:30 ET
WASHINGTON, March 24, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The NAACP is using trademark law to censor free speech in a bizarre court case that will be heard this week (March 24th-26th) in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. The Radiance Foundation and its co-founder, Ryan Bomberger, are being sued for "trademark infringement, dilution and confusion" for parodying the organization's name in a news article detailing the NAACP's documented pro-abortion position and actions. (Learn more at www.theradiancefoundation.org/naacp.)
"This lawsuit should be shocking to any American who values truth and the First Amendment," explains Bomberger who is a citizen journalist and Emmy Award-winning creative professional. "The irony is painful. The NAACP is suing me—a black man—for exercising my Constitutionally-guaranteed right to free speech."
In a 52-page Opinion, that clearly ignored trial evidence, Judge Raymond Jackson found Radiance guilty and concluded: "The NAACP has no formal or official position or policy regarding abortion." This, despite the NAACP's own 2004 Convention Resolution and online Press Release announcing: "NAACP Board Takes Historical Prochoice Position". This announcement was followed by the NAACP's participation in a Planned Parenthood DC abortion rally protesting the passage of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. Since then, the NAACP's actions have been inarguably pro-abortion.
Even the ACLU has officially sided with The Radiance Foundation stating: "…the right to parody prominent organizations like the NAACP is an essential element of the freedom of speech." The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which joined the ACLU in the Amicus Brief, expressed deep concerns "because a decision holding [The Radiance Foundation] liable for trademark infringement threatens a huge range of expression…Judge Jackson's decision misreads both trademark law and the First Amendment."
"Rush Limbaugh has parodied the NAACP's name since Clarence Thomas's Supreme Court confirmation," Bomberger points out. "But the NAACP hasn't sued a wealthy broadcaster, with an audience of millions, for parodying them every time he refers to them. I'm honored they feel threatened by a small, life-affirming organization's illuminating words."
The case is now before three justices at the Fourth Circuit. Oral arguments will be heard Wednesday, March 25th. Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorney Charles M. Allen of the law firm Goodman, Allen & Filetti PLLC is defending Bomberger and Radiance in Radiance Foundation v. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
For media inquiries, contact Bethany Marie at [email protected] or call 1-877-517-4463.
SOURCE The Radiance Foundation
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