Monday, June 27, 2011

Breaking News: Supreme Court Strikes Down Videogame Law UPDATED

No surprises here. This court is seriously--almost radically--against perceived curbs on the First Amendment.


On a 7-2 vote, the high court upheld a federal appeals court decision to throw out the state's ban on the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Sacramento had ruled that the law violated minors' rights under the First Amendment, and the high court agreed. 
"No doubt a state possesses legitimate power to protect children from harm," said Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the majority opinion. "But that does not include a free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed."

UPDATE: Here's the complete decision, and it makes for an interesting read. As I warned it would last year, the court drew on their decision in United States vs. Stevens, which overturned a ban on animal torture videos. This is horrible company for the video game industry to find itself. We have reached a point where our entertainment is so grotesque that it winds up in the same legal category as animal snuff videos.


Accordeonaire said...

Isn't one of the primary features of childhood the idea that we limit their knowledge of certain things. Exposing them to ideas as the time is appropriate. Whether it's info about sex, or info about the sacred -- we restrict their knowledge until they are ready (bar mitzvah, confirmation). Is his point that this is a bad thing to do, or that it's a bad thing for the State to do?

Thomas L. McDonald said...

I completely agree with the first part of your statement, but I do think that it's a bad thing for the State to do. It would be like giving the MPAA ratings system the force of law. I think that's simply an issue of parent responsibility. No minor can possibly purchase and play an M-rated game without his parents' knowledge.

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