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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

(SOUNDBITE OF U.S. MARINE BAND PERFORMANCE)

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Standing on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon, Simon Tam, the bassist and frontman of the Asian-American rock group The Slants, was fired up. He'd just watched as most of the eight justices questioned whether the government should back his right to use his band's name, which is a racial slur.

"If the government really truly cared about fighting racist messages they would have canceled the registrations for numerous white supremacist groups before they even approached our case," he told a crowd of reporters.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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