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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    TheDock22, Apr 18th, 2007 @ 7:40am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    knome, Apr 18th, 2007 @ 7:50am


    That headline reads like something directly from fark.com. Nice. Very nice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Apr 18th, 2007 @ 7:56am

    See, this is why politicians have no business trying to pass laws.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Apr 18th, 2007 @ 8:23am

    The representative that sponsored the bill should get the bill then maybe they would quit wasting our money!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2007 @ 8:44am

    Ban Away

    If the representative who sponsered this bill trys to pass another bill that trys to ban sales, he should be impeached.

    When will lawmakers learn that they also have to obey the law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    me, Apr 18th, 2007 @ 8:50am

    The state explains it all. Louisiana's law makers are a bunch of back woods dumbasses

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Patrick Phelan, Apr 18th, 2007 @ 8:56am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Andrew Gallagher, Apr 18th, 2007 @ 10:21am

    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?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Hegemon, Apr 18th, 2007 @ 10:24am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    wtf, Apr 18th, 2007 @ 11:29am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Matt Bennett, Apr 18th, 2007 @ 11:49am

    Yeah, I have the same question Hegemon does. I am generically against censorship, but why is ok to restrict kids from seeing R movies, or buying porn, even, but it's not ok to ban them from buying M games?

    Why is one constitutional, but the other isn't?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Periphera, Apr 18th, 2007 @ 12:17pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Hegemon, Apr 18th, 2007 @ 12:39pm

    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?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2007 @ 1:12pm


    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.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2007 @ 2:04pm

    Erm, that should be North Dakota, not South. Whoops.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Matt Bennett, Apr 19th, 2007 @ 9:09am

    Excuse me Massachusetts, anyone? We're pretty corrupt over here.

    Ok, fine, R-rated movies are self-policed, but porn is not, that's an actual law. So why is that constitutional but regulating M games is not?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Dyllan, May 2nd, 2007 @ 6:31pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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