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This Week in Schadenfreude: Milkcow's Calf Blues

"Milkcow's Calf Blues" tells the story of a cow who neglects her calf, causing the calf to become sad and angry. We'll leave it to you to figure out how that might apply to this item.

Truth be told, this could have been included in the Trump legal news above, except that item is already plenty long, and besides, Trump is only indirectly involved in the Supreme Court case we're discussing here. At issue is this shirt:

It says 'Trump too small'
on the front accompanied by an image of a hand making the 'just a little bit' gesture; on the back it has a list of 
ways in which Trump's 'package' is too small, listing things like voting rights and civil rights.

Harkening back to the 2016 debate with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), activist Steve Elster wants to sell the shirts to make a point about the former president's various inadequacies.

There are at least a couple of questions in play here. The first is whether Elster has a distinct enough idea to warrant trademark rights. The second is whether he can have that trademark without permission from the person being named. Needless to say, Trump has not given, and will not be giving, permission for the shirts to be manufactured.

The dynamics of the case are somewhat interesting. The Biden administration, in the person of Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, is defending Trump, at least indirectly. The real defendant is the USPTO's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which rejected Elster's request, and which says that his First Amendment rights are not being infringed upon. Meanwhile, the current Supreme Court, especially the right wingers, now has a long track record of paring back the limits on trademarks. So, they may well rule for Elster (and thus, against Trump).

So why did we choose this for schadenfreude of the week? It is because we have a case where at least part of the question is whether the small size of Trump's manhood is a legally protectable idea, or if it's a broader truth that really belongs to all of us. If there's no schadenfreude in that, particularly given Trump's constant peacocking about his masculinity, then we don't even know why we have this feature. (Z)

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