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BrettKavanaugh.com Domain Owned by Activist Group, Now Displays Sexual Assault Survivor Forum

11.28.2018

 

Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the United States Supreme Court was announced on July 9, 2018.  The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings were bruising and emotions ran high across the political spectrum.  Both conservative and liberal groups launched advertisements for/against confirmation of the nominee spending more than $2 million combined.

 

Given the level of engagement and sentiment on both sides, it seems impossible that neither the White House nor Judge Kavanaugh thought to secure BrettKavanaugh.com.  Yet that's exactly what happened.

 

In a story publicized by CNN,  Gabe Roth, executive director of Fix the Court, details how he purchased this domain name (and several other US Appeals Court Judge-named domains) in late 2015.  FTC's website describes the organization as a "national, non-partisan grassroots organization created to take the Supreme Court to task for its lack of accountability and transparency and to push Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s eight associate justices to enact basic yet critical reforms to make the court more open and honest."

 

Mr. Roth says he grew frustrated by the President's comments at the swearing-in ceremony of the new Justice wherein the Trump apologized on behalf of the nation for the "pain and suffering" Kavanaugh endured during the confirmation process.  In a statement on FTC's website, he wrote of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Professor Anita Hill and the many Americans who have experienced sexual misconduct firsthand, "Fix the Court stands with you. We believe you, and we support you. And if you seek additional resources, you can go to BrettKavanaugh.com."

 

Such use is protected under 15 U.S. Code § 1125 C.3 which specifically allows non-commercial and fair use of trademarks and other identifiers that parody, criticize, or comment upon famous marks.  So it's unlikely that Justice Kavanaugh will be able to take down what is sure to be an awkward & uncomfortable reminder of the allegations that caused a national uproar as he takes his place on the Supreme Court.

 

Again the old adage holds true that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" where intellectual property is concerned.