Judge Strikes Down Louisiana Video-Game Ban, Chides Lawmakers For Ignoring Precedent, Constitution

from the some-people-never-learn dept

States continue to pass laws banning the sale of certain video games to minors, despite the fact that those laws have been struck down by courts because they’re unconstitutional in every case. State legislators keep trying to pass them to “protect the children,” ignoring all the precedents, and indeed, the Constitution, in favor of scoring some political brownie points. Louisiana’s law has become the latest to get struck down (via Kotaku), and the judge in the case also said the state has to pay the $92,000 legal bill the video game industry incurred in fighting the law. In doing so, he excoriated the legislature for passing the bill, when similar laws had been passed and struck down in several other states, wondering “why nobody objected to the enactment of this statute.” Despite the ruling and the chiding from the judge, the representative that sponsored the bill says he might try to pass another similar law, apparently just so the state can waste even more taxpayer money.

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Comments on “Judge Strikes Down Louisiana Video-Game Ban, Chides Lawmakers For Ignoring Precedent, Constitution”

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TheDock22 says:

Ban Away

I think the main reason that states are trying to get a law passed to ban video game sales to minors is so they can impose hefty fines on stores that slip up and sell the video game.

This is a complete waste of time though since most stores have their own policies where they do not sell mature rated games to minors. A good example is Wal-Mart, you have to be 17 or older to buy any video game (or the strategy manuals even) with a rating of M.

I agree with this author, it is a complete waste of time and money for the state to get involved. Just because there is not set law does not mean mature video games are being sold to any minor who wants it.

Patrick Phelan says:

Re: Ban Away

As long as signing bills, no matter how silly they are, brings favor with the people. The majority of politicians will continue to sign bills despite whether or not it conflicts with previous statutes and/or the constitution. And nothing worth neither their time or ours will be accomplished.

Yet it seems that we have no problem with this and more often than not re-elect these politicians who spend their terms of office trying to get re-elected the next time around, instead of actually doing their jobs.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Wow. You mean to tell me that no one wound up in jail for corruption or was accused of taking bribes? They just tried to pass a stupid law? Maybe things ARE improving here. *winks*

( For those not in the know. Louisiana has some of the most corrupt politicians in the nation. Only Mississippi and South Dakota are worse than us.)

Andrew Gallagher says:

Isn't Roy Burrell

breaking the law by putting forth just such legislation, or is that protected speech?

How about Governor Kathleen Blanco for signing it?

If they are able to turn the tables on the law abiding public by dragging people and well intending entities through the pain, stress and expense of the court system, then why aren’t they subject to facing the same legal process for repetitively attacking the Constitution?

Hegemon says:

Why is this different than movies?

I am not takin gone side or the other on whether these laws should be passed at the moment. What I don’t understand is why the sales of Mature-rated games to minors is any different than the sales of R-rated movies to minors. The sale of R-rated movies to individuals under 17, without parental consent, is illegal in many places. So, can someone please explain why it is not a violation of the Constitution to limit the sales of films, yet it is a violation when it comes to video games? Again, this comment is not meant to start a war on whether the laws should be passed. I just would like someone to explain why there is a difference.

wtf says:

Re: Why is this different than movies?

is good question…

All I have to say is law maker just have to respect Constitution, and I bet t
will get there law passed.. What makes me mad is they want
regulate everything, game/movies/xxx/cursing/etc.. I like doing all
of those hehe.

anyways I’m all for prevent a dumbass kid playing gta etc.. but
when they try fuck with Constitution than now they playing another
ball game.

Periphera says:

Re: Why is this different than movies?

There’s a very simple reason why the laws against letting undergae kids into R-rated movies aren’t unconstitutional: those laws don’t exist. The movie ratings, just like game ratings, are entirely self-enforced. That means it’s up to the individual theater, rental store, etc. to prevent underage kids from seeing the movies, but there’s no legal weight behind it.

The FTC’s most recent study on ratings systems found that 42% of the under-17 set could buy an M-rated game and 39% of them could get into an R-rated movie. Not too bad.

Hegemon says:

Re: Re: Why is this different than movies?

Interesting. After some research, I see that you are 100% correct. It is strange, then, how many movie theaters and video rental stores claim they have to “follow the law.” I guess these self-policing policies have become so entrenched that the average person, including theater and video store employees (and me), just assumes that they are law. This very fact, then, serves as a good example of why the government should not get involved. Self-policing in the movie industry has clearly worked quite well without government interference. Why not let the video-game industry just run the same way?

Dyllan says:

Why should we worry about video games?

We shouldnt. Sure some video games seem disturbing but why is it video games that are so bad what about tv. The contint in video games like Grand Theft Auto have not come no were near the degree of profanity, sexuality, nudity, and racist as tv shows like South Park or Family guy for example. Ive seen these shows and played gta and gta comes no were close to the contint of these shows.

Anyways i dont have a problem with minors who play this games they arnt dumb enough to try and copy the game in real life and whats wrong with sexual contint and nudity its not like its wrong to want to see it if you think its wrong then your either gay or never seen porn. Also the constitution gives freedom of the press which is media so if one form of media is free why not all forms i thought the U.S. whas a democracy, trying to sensor a form of media and a form of art is not democratic it has totilitarian writen all over it.

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