California Video Game Law, Once Again, Found Unconstitutional

from the try-try-again dept

Some California politicians keep running into a pesky obstacle: The US Constitution. Despite court after court across the country finding bans on sales of violent video games to minors to be unconstitutional, “think of the children” politicians continue to try and implement them. In California, legislators passed such a ban and, predictably, it got tossed out by a court. Led by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the state appealed the ban to an appeals court, which — you guessed it — has ruled that it’s unconstitutional. But the bill’s author is undeterred. He wants the state to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court and waste more of the cash-strapped state’s resources to find out what we already know, but apparently bears repeating: these video game bans are unconstitutional.

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Comments on “California Video Game Law, Once Again, Found Unconstitutional”

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Harper (profile) says:

It's time

I’ve been thinking about this for a long, long time… finally I think the time has come to institute a new change in American politics. What I am proposing is that any law maker who puts forth a bill that is clearly unconstitutional (State or Federal) be forced to appear before a Judge in a special court to be tried for a deliberate attempt to circumvent the rights and privileges of natural citizens of that state or even Federation for the actual USG.

If found guilty that law maker should be debarred from ever serving the people of that state or the Federal government ever again. Because it’s one thing to repeatedly propose a law and failing, that’s just stupid. But to propose it repeatedly after its been found unconstitutional is practically treason.

FYI, we could also propose the same system be enacted for Agencies of the Federal government so much so that if they propose a law that infringes or impedes the people’s natural rights under the Constitution that they too are held accountable and reviewable by proper check and balance which is actually engaged in the law making process (i.e. the courts) and is held accountable.

Its me says:

Of course its ok

Everytime this comes up, I’m blown away at how you bad mouth it. We can control what movies kids can purchase or rent, why not video games? WHY NOT? Its fine with me if their parents want them to have these, let the parents get them. Its a load of boloney that its unconstitutional. Of course its ok to put in place laws that keep minors from buying certain things without parental consent.

Michael Whitetail says:

Re: Of course its ok

How do we “control what movies kids can purchase or rent?”

If you are referring to the MPAA guidelines like PG13 and R, then you should really understand that those guidelines are not law, but entirely voluntary:

If your not talking about these guidelines, then what exactly are you referring to?

The USSC has ruled again and again that the only type of speech that can be restricted, but not out-right banned, is that of a sexual nature; in-so-far as movies, games, books, comics, and the like. Of course hate speech and the like can be outright banned, but when referring to mass media like movies and video games, there really isn’t anything like that.

As far as the US Constitution is concerned, We the People have the right to choose for ourselves what speech we consume. This freedom is not set out in that document, as having an arbitrary age limit for that particular freedom. Amending that right in anyway is a short and slippery slope to a nanny state which serves no ones interests aside from power-hungry politicians who want nothing more than to control all aspects of your life.

Bottom line is, if a minor purchases a commodity that their parents do not want them to have, then the matter should be settled in the home instead of having the parents absolved of responsible parenting through costly and unconstitutional legislation.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Of course its ok

You can’t “outright ban” hate speech any more than you can ban prejudice.

Pat Robertson ask for a country’s leader to be Assassinated.

Senator Buttars compares some gays to radical Muslims

Its me says:


After an hour of working on it, I don’t have a strong response. Fine, its not constitutional. I suppose I’m just one of those that wonders why people have to create the violent hate-filled content. I’m certainly not against the concept of free speech. I just don’t understand why some people feel a need to say certain things 🙂

Michael Whitetail says:

Re: ok

See this is what most people do not understand about the Right to Free Speech. In order for me to have and exercise that right, I must not only allow, but support all of my fellow Americans in their right to free speech. Whether I agree with their expression or not.

As Ben Franklin said once, “We must … all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately” That quote fits the situation most admirably; If we don’t support each others rights together, then we will loose them all, one at a time.

Thomas Wahl says:

Courtroom Carnage

We need more “good” video games for kids. How about “Courtroom Carnage” where youngsters can attack and kill judges & lawyers with large knives and guns. They get points and free plays by killing the people that Interpolate and enforce laws. Sounds like great fun. Lets train them well, and show the little ones what free speech is all about. CHOP CHOP CHOP HACK HACK HACK KILL KILL KILL. Sounds to me like something every child should be exposed to.

Zac says:

Re: mother against video games

I am a gamer and the vast majority of the games that i play are of the violent type, and i can assure you that i am the least violent of a person; in fact the of the people i know that are violent types dont even associate with video games.

Parent need to take their own responsibility and teach their kids that video game are nothing more or less then interactive forms of art, not to be confused with every day life. Its your responsibility as a parent, and no one else.
Plus its morally unjust to force you will upon the free will of others.

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