Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Supreme Court Rules California Man Can't Trademark 'Trump Too Small'
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 1 month ago on
June 13, 2024

The Supreme Court denies a California man's request to trademark the phrase "Trump too small," upholding the government's decision. (AP/Mark Schiefelbein)

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against a man who wants to trademark the suggestive phrase “Trump too small.”

The justices upheld the government’s decision to deny a trademark to Steve Elster, a California man seeking exclusive use of the phrase on T-shirts and potentially other merchandise. It is one of several cases at the court relating to former President Donald Trump. Last week, the court laid out standards for when public officials can be sued for blocking critics from their social media accounts. These cases were also related to Trump.

The Justice Department supported President Joe Biden’s predecessor and presumptive opponent in the 2024 election. Government officials said the phrase “Trump too small” could still be used, just not trademarked because Trump had not consented to its use. Indeed, “Trump too small” T-shirts can already be purchased online.

Free Speech Rights Violated?

Elster’s lawyers had argued that the decision violated his free speech rights, and a federal appeals court agreed.

At arguments, Chief Justice John Roberts said that if Elster were to win, people would race to trademark “Trump too this, Trump too that.”

Previous Trademark Cases

Twice in the past six years, the justices have struck down provisions of federal law denying trademarks seen as scandalous or immoral in one case and disparaging in another.

Elster’s case dealt with another measure calling for a trademark request to be refused if it involves a name, portrait or signature “identifying a particular living individual” unless the person has given “written consent.”

The phrase at the heart of the case is a reference to an exchange Trump had during the 2016 presidential campaign with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who was then also running for the Republican presidential nomination.

Rubio began the verbal jousting when he told supporters at a rally that Trump was always calling him “little Marco” but that Trump — who says he is 6 feet and 3 inches tall — has disproportionately small hands. “Have you seen his hands? … And you know what they say about men with small hands,” Rubio said. “You can’t trust them.”

Trump then brought up the comment at a televised debate on March 3, 2016.

“Look at those hands. Are they small hands? And he referred to my hands — if they’re small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee you,” he said.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Largest Housing Provider for Migrant Children Engaged in Pervasive Sexual Abuse, US Says

DON'T MISS

25 Million Watched Trump’s Speech at the RNC on Thursday

DON'T MISS

City Wants Hard Reset on Art Hop. Don’t Expect Food Trucks or Vendors in August.

DON'T MISS

More Victims Come Forward in Dinuba Sex Assault Case

DON'T MISS

‘Twisters’ Is the Long-Awaited Sequel to ‘Twister.’ Where to See It in Fresno.

DON'T MISS

Fresno Offers Free Movie Tickets for Seniors to Beat the Heat

DON'T MISS

Mexican President Calls Donald Trump ‘a Friend’ and Says He’ll Warn Him Against Closing Border

DON'T MISS

Republicans Grapple With Next Moves if Democrats Replace Biden

DON'T MISS

California Judge Halts Hearing in Fight Between State Agricultural Giant and Farmworkers’ Union

DON'T MISS

Fresno Airline Flights Cancelled Amid Global IT Shutdown

UP NEXT

25 Million Watched Trump’s Speech at the RNC on Thursday

UP NEXT

City Wants Hard Reset on Art Hop. Don’t Expect Food Trucks or Vendors in August.

UP NEXT

More Victims Come Forward in Dinuba Sex Assault Case

UP NEXT

‘Twisters’ Is the Long-Awaited Sequel to ‘Twister.’ Where to See It in Fresno.

UP NEXT

Fresno Offers Free Movie Tickets for Seniors to Beat the Heat

UP NEXT

Mexican President Calls Donald Trump ‘a Friend’ and Says He’ll Warn Him Against Closing Border

UP NEXT

Republicans Grapple With Next Moves if Democrats Replace Biden

UP NEXT

California Judge Halts Hearing in Fight Between State Agricultural Giant and Farmworkers’ Union

UP NEXT

Fresno Airline Flights Cancelled Amid Global IT Shutdown

UP NEXT

Ten Commandments Won’t Go in Louisiana Classrooms Until at Least November as Lawsuit Plays Out

More Victims Come Forward in Dinuba Sex Assault Case

7 hours ago

‘Twisters’ Is the Long-Awaited Sequel to ‘Twister.’ Where to See It in Fresno.

7 hours ago

Fresno Offers Free Movie Tickets for Seniors to Beat the Heat

7 hours ago

Mexican President Calls Donald Trump ‘a Friend’ and Says He’ll Warn Him Against Closing Border

8 hours ago

Republicans Grapple With Next Moves if Democrats Replace Biden

8 hours ago

California Judge Halts Hearing in Fight Between State Agricultural Giant and Farmworkers’ Union

8 hours ago

Fresno Airline Flights Cancelled Amid Global IT Shutdown

9 hours ago

Ten Commandments Won’t Go in Louisiana Classrooms Until at Least November as Lawsuit Plays Out

9 hours ago

Grape Expectations: A Day with Ray Krause, the Wine Wizard of Madera County

10 hours ago

911 Systems Disrupted in at Least 3 States

10 hours ago

Largest Housing Provider for Migrant Children Engaged in Pervasive Sexual Abuse, US Says

AUSTIN, Texas — Employees of the largest housing provider for unaccompanied migrant children in the U.S. repeatedly sexually abused and hara...

5 hours ago

5 hours ago

Largest Housing Provider for Migrant Children Engaged in Pervasive Sexual Abuse, US Says

5 hours ago

25 Million Watched Trump’s Speech at the RNC on Thursday

6 hours ago

City Wants Hard Reset on Art Hop. Don’t Expect Food Trucks or Vendors in August.

7 hours ago

More Victims Come Forward in Dinuba Sex Assault Case

7 hours ago

‘Twisters’ Is the Long-Awaited Sequel to ‘Twister.’ Where to See It in Fresno.

7 hours ago

Fresno Offers Free Movie Tickets for Seniors to Beat the Heat

8 hours ago

Mexican President Calls Donald Trump ‘a Friend’ and Says He’ll Warn Him Against Closing Border

8 hours ago

Republicans Grapple With Next Moves if Democrats Replace Biden

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend