Oh Look, Once Again A Judge Has Tossed Out Video Game Sale Ban As Unconstitutional

from the yes,-again dept

Over and over and over and over and over and over again, state politicians have been passing laws that ban the sale of certain video games to children and every single time the laws are struck down as unconstitutional. Yet, local politicians keep proposing similar laws. Why? Because it gives them a talking point for the next election and making it look like they're "protecting the children" (even if the law does no such thing). However, what they're really doing is wasting taxpayer money, because every time one of these unconstitutional laws is passed, the state has to go to court to defend it, only to find it thrown out again. The latest state to waste taxpayer money over this? My home state of California, who has now had its law thrown out as unconstitutional, just like all the rest. Let's make this clear: more than ten states have passed these laws and not a single one has been found to be constitutional. Any politician passing such a law these days knows that they're wasting taxpayer money on a law that will undoubtedly be found unconstitutional -- and yet they do it anyway. What does that say about the politicians pushing such legislation?


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Mike, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 9:53am

    Just like most other politicians, it says they're scum.

     

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    Casper, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 9:57am

    Duh...

    WTF ever happened to the market sorting out the success of products. Why do we feel the need to TELL people what THEY want to buy. If someone wants to something and a company is willing to sell it, that is between the buyer and seller unless it has direct safety implications for the general public.

     

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      Bob3000, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 10:27am

      Re: Duh...

      Because parenting in America has taken a drastic turn for the worse in the past 15 years. Parents are too busy working on the appearance of wealth.

       

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    Sanguine Dream, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 10:00am

    It's about being "first"...

    Just like here and on many other sites these politicians want to be the "first" to make one of these laws stick. First off this has never been about protecting the children it was always about making that emotional 30sec. sound byte for the news to drum up votes. Well now a challenge has been made. These anti-violent game laws are getting struck down left and right so now the push isn't protect the children it is not to be the "first" to get one of these anti-violent game laws to stick.

    Imagine the press coverage if one of those remaining states passed such a law and it stuck. Over protective parents would come out of the wood work to support her/him.

     

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      Norman619, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 12:37pm

      Re: It's about being "first"...

      Sorry but no. These laws will never pass. These politicians are just going through the motions to earn political points. Even a blind person could see that.

       

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    Jason Buck, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 10:03am

    Parents are the Law for Minors

    Enough with wasting our Tax payers money. Games are rated now. If a kid is under the age required to buy the darn game, fine the vendor for selling it to him.

    Ultimately it is up to the parents to decide what game their kids can and cannot have.

    Somethings just need to be legislated at home. Politicians should stay out of it.

    Our 14 y/o knows that he is only allowed to by car and sports video games, no games with guns or sexual content. He knows that violating those rules means lose of his console. That doesn't mean that he doesn't play them at a friends house where those parents are okay with it. So again, laws are what you make of them, and there is always away around it. Some parents just don't care and will buy any game for their kids.

    Can I have the Patent for the VChip for Video Games. Parents enter a code on the kids game console and if the rating of the game exceeds the code entered, the game doesn't play.

     

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      W4RM4N, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 10:37am

      Re: Parents are the Law for Minors

      Great idea. So great it's on consoles already. Check your XBOX for parental controls. I found it because a buddy of mine set it to "G," and no games would play.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 11:10am

      Re: Parents are the Law for Minors

      "Can I have the Patent for the VChip for Video Games. Parents enter a code on the kids game console and if the rating of the game exceeds the code entered, the game doesn't play."

      I am pretty sure the Wii console has something like this. Whenever I do an update, it reminds to look at its Parental Controls. I never did, but I imagine it can limit play time and disallow certain ratings.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 3:07pm

      Re: Parents are the Law for Minors

      Or you could just grow up an realise that violent and sexual games don't do shit to your child's development. *especially* if they're already 14. Not 8.

       

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    Dave, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 10:13am

    game console vchip

    Isn't their already something like that in the ps2. I know you can lock out movies based on ratings on it.

     

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      Joe, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 1:00pm

      Re: game console vchip

      I thought they had this on the 360 already. I just don't use it as I'm 25 and i'm the only one in my household who plays games.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 10:15am

    Something I've never really understood, is why it's unconstitutional to ban the sale of certain games to minors, but not unconstitutional to do the same for movies...

     

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      BTR1701, Aug 8th, 2007 @ 6:06am

      Re: Movies

      > Something I've never really understood,
      > is why it's unconstitutional to ban the
      > sale of certain games to minors, but not
      > unconstitutional to do the same for movies

      Because no one has done it with movies (other than hardcore porn movies). The rating system for mainsteam movies (G, PG, R, etc.) is entirely voluntary. The studio/theater industry voluntarily set up the rating system as a service to its customers. So while a given theater might refuse to sell a ticket to a 14-year-old for an R-rated movie, there's no law that requires them to do so. Indeed, if a theater *did* sell tickets to kids against the rating system, they couldn't be charged or fined by the government in any way. And if the goverment passed a law to enforce it, that law would be unconstitutional just like these video game laws are.

       

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    Dan, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 10:18am

    (in response to the 6th comment)

    That is because there is no law that prevents selling R rated movies to minors, it is industry regulated, but not law.

     

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    Matt Bennett, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 10:27am

    Every time this subject comes up, I ask, and no one answers. If this is constitutional, why is keeping Playboy out of the hands of the under 18 crowd legal?

     

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      BTR1701, Aug 8th, 2007 @ 6:09am

      Re: Playboy

      > If this is unconstitutional, why is keeping
      > Playboy out of the hands of the under 18
      > crowd legal?

      Cite me the law that makes it a crime to sell a Playboy to someone under 18. [Hint: there isn't one. Retailers *choose* to enforce that policy to avoid controversy but there's no law forcing them to.]

       

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    Matt Bennett, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 10:28am

    UNconstitutional*

     

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      name, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 10:45am

      Re:

      isnt showing a child nude pictures illegal, among other things?

       

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        Charles Griswold, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 11:48am

        Re: Re:

        isnt showing a child nude pictures illegal?
        No. If that were the case, many public museums would be adults-only. Showing pornography to a child is illegal, but there is a difference between nudity and pornography (for instance, Playboy is not pornographic).

         

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    Beefcake, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 10:31am

    Campaign Funds

    Wouldn't it be cool if the money used by the state to defend these laws (and others with similar purposes) counted directly against the sponsoring candidates' campaign funds, and was required to be reported by them as such?

     

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    Buzz, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 10:44am

    It is all a matter of will power.

    It is all a matter of will power. If little Kevin is bent on obtaining the latest first-person shooter featuring head explosions galore, no law will stop him from doing so. An older sibling or friend could just buy it for him, thus circumventing the law. On the other hand, if parents did their job (or little Kevin had personal morals and simply opted out of trying to obtain it) then life would go on just fine. These laws solve NOTHING.

     

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    Buzz, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 10:46am

    Oops, and to clarify...

    I read over my post and forgot one detail:

    This is a totally different issue from things like drugs/alcohol. Obviously, underaged people obtain these things illegally all the time, but it should remain illegal to aid in prosecution and whatnot. Video games are nowhere in the same ballpark. If a kid is caught with a violent video game, again, let the parents handle it. It is not a life-damaging substance.

     

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    AVonGauss, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 10:46am

    In answer...

    In answer to Matt Bennett, Playboy I believe would fall under a classification of pornography or other similar classification like sexually explicit which I believe is illegal to sell or distribute to minors in most areas. In contradiction, in a lot of areas public libraries and retail bookstores carry books/magazines containing nude artwork or nude photography that is easily accessible to minors.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 11:08am

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,292415,00.html

    apparently the terminator disagrees.

     

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    Shalkar, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 11:27am

    The Breakdown

    When it comes down to it, it's just like you all have said already: It's up to the parents. I'm happy to see that Jason Buck, the fourth post, is actually a parent and not just the biological parent. Most parents these days are still "trying to live their lives" and just try to be a part-time parent. Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. Quite obviously the only reason they even try to bring up laws like this are because the majority of parents DO fall in to that category I just named. Sad but true.

    I completely agree with things like the V-Chip because it allows a parent a respite from the 24/7 stress of being a parent. It is also something that does not inhibit the people that SHOULD be allowed to see such things. Almost every time I go to a video game store or some place that sells video games, I see the PARENT buying the M-Rated game for their kids. The sales associate will even bring it to their attention that the game is M-Rated and WHY it's M-Rated! I just don't even have words to express how stupid those parents are. Then they wonder why their kid(s) are degenerates!

    As for the Playbody versus National Geographic: Playboy is utterly about sex. National Geographic is about learning. The natives just happen to be nude. The difference is that the former is for getting off. The latter actually has some learning potential in it. So why don't they have books that are purely for teaching what sex is in the library? The same reason the retards in charge refuse to let there be Sex Classes in Junior and/or High School. They want to teach just abstinence instead of safe sex. "If they don't know how, then they can't do it!" Yeah... We're talking about nature here. Not buidling a nuke. Morons...

     

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    Bob, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 11:36am

    Here's a novel idea

    Why don't parents take a more active role in what little Johnny is spending that $60 on?

    If I wanted $60 to buy anything when I was growing up, my father would ask me 100 questions or so before he would even consider the request.

    Now it seems like Parents just hand out money to their kids and let them buy whatever they want and don't care what their own kids are buying.

    When I was in Best Buy recently I saw a boy of about 11 or 12 wanting to buy the most recent Grand Theft Auto game. His mother looked at it and said "OK" and GAVE him the cash for it. The boy actually pointed out to his Mother that he couldn't purchase it as it had a label saying no one under 18 blah blah blah, so his Mother said, "Give it to me, I'll buy it for you when we check out."

    I imagine this sort of thing happens daily in these stores, so really, if the Parents don't care what their kids are doing with their time, should the government?

     

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    Matt Bennett, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 11:49am

    All the video game consoles (I own most of them) have very similar parental controls.

    To the above, by AvonGauss, yes, I understand that, and the difference between porn and artistic nudes, but why is it legal to say a child may not have a lewd magazine, but may buy a videogame that ultimately has some of the same content?

     

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    Matt Bennett, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 11:50am

    An d why is one constituional, and the other not, much more importantly?

     

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    Melvin, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 12:18pm

    HERE'S a great idea!

    First, let me say, i noticed that all responses to this article seemed to focus on the games, whereas the real focus should be...THE FRIVOLOUS(sp?)WASTE OF TAXPAYERS MONEY.
    Now, for the idea. The next time anyone notices an article about some politico trying to pass some law that you deam a waste of taxpayers money, take the time to jot down the proposed legislative action number and the lawmakers name and state....then do a little background and find the names of that persons constituents that support said legislation.....and write letters and emails and phone calls, and encourage all your friends and acquaintances to do the same, and let them know of your disapproval and the fact that, in the same way they were elected in, they can be elected out....then take it to the polls on election day.
    It wont be long before the legislators get the message that they work for, and are paid by, Us.

     

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    Amethyst, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 2:01pm

    They keep doing it because the vast majority of parents are still not computer literate other than what they absolutely have to be for work, and won't do the internet research on the games to see if they are actually appropriate for their kids.

    Most parents pick up a video game box and think, "Oooh...this must be like Pacman, little Johnny will love it." Or their kids will beg and beg and the parents will get the kid the game to shut them up. Parents need to be parents, and not let the computer be the babysitter.

     

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    Lucretious, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 2:56pm

    Two 'tards

    Arnie has sworn to appeal the decision evidently.

    I have no idea why he even bothered to run on the Republican ticket as he shown time and again that he will do things that are traditionally abhorred by the right. The industry has come up with a very effective ratings system and has overall policed itself extremely well. These are the kind of actions that Republicans, whether you agree with them or not in this case, have championed in the past and IMO makes sense.

    Leyland Yee on the other hand is doing his typical shtick. He's normally a racial ambulance chaser and the Asian equivilent of Al Sharpton when it comes to choosing his fights. Any cause he can get behind that puts him in a morally "invincible" position such as anything related to supposed "child saftey" or minority special interest is where you'll find that coward.

    Before I get called out I'm a political moderate who is for anyone who uses common sense to solve issues rather than towing the party line no matter how idiotic. Both these representatives show the worst of what both parties have to offer.

     

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    bradley stewart, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 4:54pm

    POLITICIANS DOING DOPY THINGS IM SHOCKED!

    FOLKS IF YOU HAVE EVER LISTENED TO ANY OF THESE HEARINGS WHERE POLITICIANS YACK ABOUT PROTECTING CHILDREN IT BECOMES CLEAR VERY QUICKLY THESE THINGS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH CHILDREN AT ALL. ALL THESE PEOPLE ARE DOING IS PANDERING TO THEIR WACK JOB SUPPORTERS. THEN EVEN IF THE DUMB PIECE OF LEGISLATION DOESNT STAND UP TO LEGAL STANDARDS WHICH BY THE WAY THEY UNDERSTOOD BEFORE THEY STARTED THE WHOLE IDIOTIC PROCESS THEY CAN SAY TO THEIR SUPPORTERS WELL OK IT DIDNT WORK BUT WELL WE WILL KEEP TRYING. JUST ANOTHER GREAT WAY THEY HAVE FOUND TO WASTE BOTH OUR TIME AND MONEY. BEST REGARDS BRADLEY STEWART

     

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    Peter, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 6:36am

    Which states?

    Michigan, Minnesota, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Illinois, Washington.

    What are the other 4 states that had laws banning the sale of violent games?

    I guess California makes 11.

     

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