SCOTUS, Video Games, & Violence
June 27, 2011 8:16 AM Subscribe
US Supreme Court finds Cali. law restricting sales of violent videogames to adults violates First Amendment.
posted by modernnomad (93 comments total)
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Majority decision finding law to violate first amendment written by Scalia J., joined by Kennedy,
Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan, JJ.:
Because the Act imposes a restriction on the content of protected speech, it is invalid unless California can demonstrate that it passes strict scrutiny, i.e., it is justified by a compelling government interest and is narrowly drawn to serve that interest... California cannot meet that standard. Psychological studies purporting to show a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children do not prove that such exposure causes minors to act aggressively. Any demonstrated effects are both small and indistinguishable from effects produced by other media. Since California has declined to restrict those other media, e.g., Saturday morning cartoons, its video-game regulation is wildly underinclusive, raising serious doubts about whether the State is pursuing the interest it invokes or is instead disfavoring
a particular speaker or viewpoint.
Concurring judgment by Alito J., joined by Roberts C.J. Separate dissents by Thomas and Breyer, JJ.