Another offensively opaque law designed to regulate video games. In this case, the California legislature banned “violent games”; reasoning that such games appeal to a minor’s “morbid and deviant interest.” Do you have children? If so, California considers them “morbid and violent”. Additionally, they apparently have the power to trump the First Amendment and create content-related restrictions of expression – must be nice.
Once again, the state government argued for a new unprotected class of speech (seems to be a catchall). As an evidentiary matter, the state introduced social science evidence (for those newbies, it is pronounced pur-suh-nl uh-pin-yuhn) to buttress the law. Naturally, California never sought a lesser restrictive alternative, such as working with the video game producers. Why do that when you can use force?
The Ninth Circuit struck the law down as unconstitutional. The decision was appealed is set for oral argument before the Supreme Court this November.
Animal cruelty and gratuitous violence are offensive at best enraging at worst. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t head down that slope where depiction of that cruelty is balanced by your average impartial, unbiased and politically apathetic government official – I almost made it through with a straight face. As for video games – children have parents, parents have choice (not involving neglect or abuse naturally) in raising their children and that choice includes bad choice. The answer? Don’t choose like them.
Three cheers for the Ninth Circuit; both U.S. v. Stevens and E.M.A. v. Schwarzenegger signify the sort of First Amendment protections that buffer most of us from those who insist on being astigmatic (See Presidential election, 2008).
These cases are important for two, yet diametrically opposed, reasons. The first reason is obvious; these cases embolden First Amendment questions, and consequentially come to the right conclusions. While one could easily become disillusioned with the importance of First Amendment concerns recently (it is “out of fashion”…again, see January 20, 2009 – present), it remains the bulwark of American Society.
The second reason is that both decisions stem from the Ninth Circuit, which many perceive as hostile ground for Conservative causes – not exactly an unfair statement.
Speaking from the perspective of one not given a ticket to the Obamandwagon of ’08, these decisions are refreshing. Why? At the…
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