- Colorado gun crackdown law found to be built on faulty data
- Hank Aaron steps to fundraising plate for Democrat Michelle Nunn
- ISIL terrorists blow up burial site of Jonah, vow more of same
- Impeach Obama, say 35 percent in new poll
- Taliban yank 14 Shiites off bus, bind and shoot them on Afghan road
- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
Judge rules for nonprofit group in slogan battle
Question of the Day
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A nonprofit group can continue to use Louisiana’s trademarked tourism slogan to criticize the government while a lawsuit against its billboard is still in court, a federal district judge has ruled.
District Judge Shelly Dick ruled Monday that a MoveOn.org billboard using the slogan “Pick your Passion” can stay in place before she hears Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne’s lawsuit challenging its use. Dardenne filed suit over the ad criticizing Gov. Bobby Jindal’s refusal to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act.
“This decision is a victory for common sense, freedom of speech, and the 242,000 Louisianians being denied health care because of Governor Jindal and Louisiana Republicans’ outrageous refusal to let them access Medicaid. What it means is, our billboard is staying up,” Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn.org Civic Action, said in a news release.
The group’s billboard on Interstate 10 near Baton Rouge reads: “Louisiana! Pick your passion! But hope you don’t love your health. Gov. Jindal is denying Medicaid to 242,000 people.”
Dardenne said he will consult with attorney Dale Baringer about whether to continue with the lawsuit. “We knew it was a close case when we brought it but felt it incumbent to protect the brand for which we have spent so much money,” he said.
The state has spent about $70 million developing and using the mark registered with the Louisiana secretary of state’s office in January 2011, according to Dick’s ruling.
To win a trademark infringement suit, Dardenne had to prove that using the slogan would confuse readers about the message’s source, affiliation or sponsorship, Dick wrote. Dardenne argued that people who saw the billboard would think he or the state was criticizing Jindal.
“In this Court’s view, the Lieutenant Governor underestimates the intelligence and reasonableness of people viewing the billboard,” Dick wrote.
In a footnote, the judge said Dardenne used a “fundamentally flawed” survey to try to make his point.
MoveOn spokesman Nick Berning said, “The whole thing was great to read. It was a clear-cut ruling that made it clear the state had a very weak case.”
Dardenne said, “I don’t think we’ve underestimated the intelligence of the Louisiana people.”
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- PRUDEN: The Democratic-wannabe mice under Hillary Clinton's feet
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
- Obama takes aim at 'corporate deserters'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq