Skip to comments.Court: Man can't name filly 'Sally Hemings'
Posted on 08/07/2007 12:57:59 PM PDT by Trust but Verify
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that a filly can't be named "Sally Hemings" after Thomas Jefferson's most famous slave and reputed lover.
The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled that the Jockey Club can legally bar horse owner Garrett Redmond from naming his 4-year-old horse after Hemings.
Judge Alice Batchelder, writing for the three-judge panel, said Redmond has other options that may be approved by the Jockey Club, which forbids horse owners from using names of famous or notorious people without special permission. The club's rules also say that "names considered in poor taste; or names that may be offensive to religious, political or ethnic groups" won't be approved.
"To be sure, the First Amendment protects horse owners' rights to free speech, and we do not foreclose Mr. Redmond indiscriminately from asserting that right, but the right to free speech is not absolute in all contexts," Batchelder wrote.
The Jockey Club is a private organization designated by Kentucky to track and approve names of race horses. Without an approved name, a horse cannot race at a Kentucky track.
The horse, now known as "Awaiting Justice," ran at Churchill Downs on July 1 and at Ellis Park in Henderson on July 25. She did not finish in the top 3 in either race.
In May 2005, Redmond sued the racing authority and the Jockey Club after his request to name the horse for Hemings was denied. Redmond argued that the denial had deprived him of constitutional rights.
U.S. District Senior Judge Karl Forester had sided with the Jockey Club and the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority in dismissing the lawsuit.
Batchelder wrote that because the Jockey Club is a private organization with power delegated by the state, it may restrict free speech so long as it doesn't discriminate against a specific viewpoint.
She also quoted Shakespeare's "What's in a name?" and cited the band America in rejecting Redmond's appeal.
"In short, because he has spent three years insisting he has a constitutional right to name his horse 'Sally Hemings' and that no other name will do, Mr. Redmond now finds himself, like the songster of the 70s, having 'been through the desert on a horse with no name,"' Batchelder wrote.
"If he really wants to race or breed this horse in Kentucky, Mr. Redmond will have to come up with a name that complies with the Jockey Club's rules," Batchelder wrote. "A quick look at the Jockey Club's Registry confirms that 'Horse With No Name' is no longer available."
Hillary has legs like a clydesdale and, no doubt, a mudder
I bet "Hillary" wouldn't get approved either...
The guy wants to name his horse, not his horse's ass...
What say ye?..........................
They don’t let nags in the thoroughbred races.......
Well, I’m thinking I would rename the horse “Judge Alice Batchelder.”
The owner finds there are limits to “free speech.” Then begs the question does the constitution really guarantees us “free speech”? Or guarantees us “limited speech” instead? Is the term “free speech” a misnomer?
if I remember correctly, you can’t name a horse after a living person without their approval—back in the seventies there was a filly named Chris Evert. I don’t know what the problem with Sally Hemings is.
Good Point! I feel sorry for the horse! What kind of a name is “Awaiting Justice”?
Was it a black horse? Maybe it was a white horse.
He must have decided to name the horse after Michael Vick.
There’s a dark horse joke in there somewhere. Some would even say that the judge was niggardly in her understanding of freedom of expression. (I know some congress people haven’t gotten around to looking up the word and forbid it’s use in conversation.)
Subject: FW: Texas politics
A man walked into a bar in Central Texas, and ordered a drink.
While he was sitting at the bar watching T.V., one of Hillary’s political ads came on.
After it went off, he stood up and announced to everyone, “Hillary is a horse’s ass!”
The bartender reached under the bar and brought out an oak club about 18 inches long and hit the man square across the head, knocking him off his stool and onto the floor.
After a minute or two, the man got up, straightened himself up and said to the bartender, “I’m sorry. I didn’t know this was Hillary country.”
“It’s not!” replied the bartender.” It’s horse country”.