Recent Broward Law Blog Features

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Video Game Law Struck Down in California

Is there any doubt in your mind that Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most popular men in America? That if he were eligible to run for president, he would win in a landslide?
He always impressed me for the ways he went beyond the screen, identifying himself as more than an actor. But I wonder what he has to say about the steroid scandals today. Is there any doubt that he used steroids to become the physical mass of humanity that he became?
So here he is with a bunch of girl scouts, signing into law a bill that the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has just declared unconstitutional. It is the video game law which mandated an additional labeling requirement and made it illegal to sell or rent a video game that has been labeled “violent”.
In defending the law, the state argued that violent content should be judged by the same obscenity standards as sex. (For the text of the act, which contains language that tracks the Miller test, see page 5 of the opinion.) Just as the government can prohibit the sale of explicit pornography to minors, state lawyers contended, it should have been allowed to establish an adults-only category of ultra-violent video games.

But a unanimous appellate court ruled that a 1968 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed tighter restrictions on selling explicit materials to minors than to adults applies only to sexual content and not to violence.
“The Supreme Court has carefully limited obscenity to sexual content,” wrote Judge Consuelo Callahan. “We decline the state’s invitation to apply the (same) rationale to materials depicting violence.” Nice of the state to extend the invitation. Nicer of the Courts to protect the first amendment rights of consumers in a free and open society.
We come together as a community not to restrict the rights of any but to secure the rights of all. I wish legislators would meet annually to eliminate laws which are unnecessarily restrictive. Instead they collectively gather only to find new ways to pass more laws which invade the breadth of your freedoms.
'That government which governs least governs best'
Thomas Jefferson

1 comment:

  1. Why don't we let kids smoke, drink, have sex; eliminate curfews and other restrictions...after all we don't want to be unnecessarily restrictive! Come on, where is your common sense? We are talking about MINORS!