You may have seen that the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS to us law school grads) denied the suit of one SC (South Carolina) against the other SC (Southern Cal) for the right to use the "SC" logo on moneymaking sports merchandise. Technically SCOTUS declined to hear the case (denied certiorari), so the ruling by the lower court of appeals stands -- the only Trogan win of the week.
It would have been much more entertaining had SCOTUS accepted the case. The ruling and opinions would be:
PER CURIAM. The order of the lower court is upheld, and Southern Cal retains the trademark. The members of this Court unanimously agree in this ruling, but each has a different reason, as stated in the concurring opinions.
ROBERTS, C.J. Because I look for narrow rulings wherever I can, I do not agree that only one "SC" could conceivably have a legitimate right to use the logo. However, for purposes of collegiate football, only one "school" is recognized by the NCAA for unparalleled rule breaking, including highest player payments, and is unique in having a championship rescinded, a Heisman returned, and its former coach hawking a book on how to compete forever as he briskly slips out of town. No other college football entity may be permitted to cash in on this SC's ill-gotten gains.
SCALIA, J. Principles of federalism normally conflict with more recent notions of "interstate commerce." However, since Southern California is a state unto itself and, at the same time, a multinational corporation heavily involved with the Arab sovereignties among others, this Court does have jurisdiction. And that state should clearly prevail over South Carolina, which is merely an instrumentality within a state.
KENNEDY, J. International law, particularly of our esteemed European colleagues, influences us to proclaim enlightened values in all instances. The weight of world opinion is that there is only one SC entity that personifies contemptible America, and that is the one from my home state.
THOMAS, J. The authors of the Constitution included representatives from one SC, South Carolina, and could never have conceived of the monstrosity represented by the subsequent SC, South Central. But they promulgated immutable property rights, so the richer of the SCs must prevail.
GINSBURG, J. As a long time champion of gender equity, it distresses me to the utmost to review a case involving the institution of OJ Simpson, Rey Rey, Matt Leinart, Mark Sanchez, and so many others. Nonetheless the rights of free speech must be ever guarded, even where that speech is offensive (as, for example, Pete Carroll's generally is). Also, I used to be on the payroll for Planned Parenthood, so I always promote Trojans. So the judgment in favor of the deplorable defendant should be upheld.
BREYER, J. Interpretation of the Constitution evolves as society evolves. Evolution happens somewhat more slowly at the SCs. Reasonable extrapolation of the intentions of the authors of the original document implies that since immoral corporations and corrupt unions have the right to commercial speech, so must the immoral and corrupt non-Harvard of Los Angeles.
ALITO, J. The Constitution makes clear statements about criminal law, in which one SC is manifestly proficient. It also reserves all unenumerated rights to the states, including the right to determine ownership of the pejorative title "SC". As determined below, it belongs to those who most deserve it.
SOTOMAYOR, J. I have empathy for all parties, though I must confess that for this defendant it is particularly hard to do so. A wise woman would make better decisions than the Sample-Garrett-Carroll-Floyd cartel. The lowly-regarded of our society need special assistance, so the balance must be in favor of those who have recently suffered at the hands of the NCAA.
KAGAN, J. Having a background in leadership of an elite educational institution, I am acutely aware of the chasm between institutions of higher learning (such as UCLA) and "football factories." It is quite shocking that the very first case I participate in on this noble Court is a football factory dispute. It can only go up from here. There are no intellectually interesting points at issue here, so the decision below should be upheld.