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?

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

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33 Comments
Sanguine Dream says:

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.

Jason Buck says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

BTR1701 (profile) says:

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.

BTR1701 says:

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.]

Buzz (profile) says:

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.

Buzz (profile) says:

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.

AVonGauss says:

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.

Shalkar says:

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…

Bob (user link) says:

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?

Melvin (profile) says:

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.

Amethyst says:

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.

Lucretious (profile) says:

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.

bradley stewart (profile) says:

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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