Press Release

Banned band fights for free speech at Supreme Court Becket urges government to protect free speech for all, even speech that offends

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

Additional Information

WASHINGTON, D.C. – An Asian American rock band called The Slants will be defending their right to free speech before the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow morning. The case began in 2011, when the government rejected the band’s trademark application because their name was deemed “too disparaging” to be protected. Tam is represented by Eugene Volokh and Stuart Banner of the UCLA School of Law Supreme Court Clinic, and John Connell of Archer & Grenier, P.C.

For more than a decade, Becket and the federal government have fought laws banning “insulting” and “defaming” religious speech at the United Nations and in places like Pakistan, Indonesia, and Australia, where minority groups are silenced and marginalized for expressing their beliefs. Last month, Becket told the Supreme Court that the U.S. government should practice at home what it preaches abroad: free speech for all, even speech that offends.

Oral Argument for Lee v. Tam

Hannah Smith, senior counsel at Becket

Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Eastern

U.S. Supreme Court
1 First Street, Northeast
Washington, DC 20543

Becket attorneys will be available for comment immediately following the hearing.

For more information or to arrange an interview with a Becket attorney, please contact Melinda Skea at or 202-349-7224. Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.


Becket is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions and has a 100% win-rate before the United States Supreme Court.  For over 20 years, it has successfully defended clients of all faiths, including  Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Native Americans, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians  (read more here).