'Trump too small' -- US Supreme Court to decide

Former US President Donald Trump

In this file photo taken on July 26, 2022, former US President Donald Trump arrives to speak at the America First Policy Institute Agenda Summit in Washington, DC.

Photo credit: Mandel Ngan | AFP

The US Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a trademark dispute over the phrase "Trump too small" used to mock the former president.

The case stems from an attempt by a California lawyer, Steve Elster, to trademark the sexually suggestive phrase and print it on T-shirts.

Elster's bid to register "Trump too small" was rejected by the US Patent and Trademark Office because he did not have Donald Trump's written consent to use his name.

A federal court of appeals disagreed, ruling that it was a violation of Elster's First Amendment free speech rights.

Somewhat ironically, it is the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden, on behalf of the US Patent and Trademark Office, that appealed to the Supreme Court.

Elster's attorney, in a brief, said the phrase is "political commentary" and while it does involve a double entendre it is meant to convey his client's view of "the smallness of Donald Trump's overall approach to governing as president of the United States."

The phrase "Trump too small" arose from the 2016 Republican presidential primaries during which Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said Trump had "small hands" and "you know what they say about men with small hands."

Trump, who frequently referred to Rubio during the campaign as "Little Marco," responded by saying "Nobody has ever hit my hands."

"He referred to my hands. If they're small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there is no problem," Trump said in one of the bawdier exchanges of the 2016 campaign.

The Supreme Court will hear the case during the term which begins in October.