First Amendment Win for Motorcycle Club

The Maine Writer

The Mongol Nation Motorcycle Club has been around since the late 1960s, and they have chapters all around the United States, as well as chapters worldwide. Membership is estimated to be around 2,000. The club started off as a motorcycle club in California with military veterans getting together to ride, although that changed as the years went on.

The club has since become known for crime and was charged with racketeering in 2018. Federal prosecutors described the club as a den of harmful criminal activity. In December 2018, a federal jury found the Mongols guilty of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). This was the second time that the club was charged with racketeering. In 2008, seventy-seven of the club's members pled guilty to violating the RICO statute after an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms worked undercover to infiltrate the group in an investigation they named “Operation Black Rain.”

After the court ruling in 2018, a federal jury in January 2019 determined that the Mongols should have to forfeit the group's logo worn by the members, along with numerous items with the Mongol logo seized by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms during their investigation.

Thanks to a Friday, January 6, 2023, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decision, the Mongolian National Motorcycle Club can keep its trademarked logo worn by club members on jackets and vests. In his decision, U.S. District Judge David O. Carter stated that the government's request to forfeit the rights associated with the collective symbols is permanently barred by the First and Eighth Amendments.

The attorney for the Mongolian National Motorcycle Club said you don't have the right to steal the identity of an organization, and the judge's ruling will protect members of all groups.

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Mainer that enjoys writing about current news events along with news from my state of Maine and news about First Amendment issues. I always provide no spin, facts only reporting-- guaranteed.

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