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Brown vs EMA


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This was basically the video game law from cali, which was trying to legally restrict the sale of violent videos games to minor's instead of the current self policing,


7-2 in favor of EMA(Woot) with ironically Thomas being one the 2 dissenting opinions(breyer the other)









No. 08–1448. Argued November 2, 2010—Decided June 27, 2011


Respondents, representing the video-game and software industries, filed a preenforcement challenge to a California law that restricts thesale or rental of violent video games to minors. The Federal District Court concluded that the Act violated the First Amendment and permanently enjoined its enforcement. The Ninth Circuit affirmed.

Held: The Act does not comport with the First Amendment. Pp. 2–18.


(a) Video games qualify for First Amendment protection. Like pro-tected books, plays, and movies, they communicate ideas through fa-miliar literary devices and features distinctive to the medium. And “the basic principles of freedom of speech . . . do not vary” with a newand different communication medium. Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wil-son, 343 U. S. 495, 503. The most basic principle—that governmentlacks the power to restrict expression because of its message, ideas,subject matter, or content, Ashcroft v. American Civil Liberties Un-ion, 535 U. S. 564, 573—is subject to a few limited exceptions for his-torically unprotected speech, such as obscenity, incitement, and fight-ing words. But a legislature cannot create new categories ofunprotected speech simply by weighing the value of a particular category against its social costs and then punishing it if it fails the test. See United States v. Stevens, 559 U. S. ___, ___. Unlike the New York law upheld in Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U. S. 629, Cali-fornia’s Act does not adjust the boundaries of an existing category of unprotected speech to ensure that a definition designed for adults isnot uncritically applied to children. Instead, the State wishes to cre-ate a wholly new category of content-based regulation that is permis-sible only for speech directed at children. That is unprecedented and mistaken. This country has no tradition of specially restricting chil-dren’s access to depictions of violence. And California’s claim that “interactive” video games present special problems, in that the playerparticipates in the violent action on screen and determines its out-come, is unpersuasive. Pp. 2–11.


(b) Because the Act imposes a restriction on the content of pro-tected speech, it is invalid unless California can demonstrate that itpasses strict scrutiny, i.e., it is justified by a compelling governmentinterest and is narrowly drawn to serve that interest. R. A. V. v. St. Paul, 505 U. S. 377, 395. California cannot meet that standard. Psy-chological studies purporting to show a connection between exposureto violent video games and harmful effects on children do not prove that such exposure causes minors to act aggressively. Any demon-strated effects are both small and indistinguishable from effects pro-duced by other media. Since California has declined to restrict those other media, e.g., Saturday morning cartoons, its video-game regula-tion 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. California also cannot show that the Act’s restrictions meet the alleged substantial need of parents who wish to restrict their children’s access to violent videos. The video-game industry’s voluntary rating system already accomplishes that to a large extent. Moreover, as a means of assisting parents the Act is greatly overinclusive, since not all of the children who are pro-hibited from purchasing violent video games have parents who dis-approve of their doing so. The Act cannot satisfy strict scrutiny. Pp. 11–18.


556 F. 3d 950, affirmed.


SCALIA, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which KENNEDY, GINSBURG, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. ALITO, J., filed an opin-ion concurring in the judgment, in which ROBERTS, C. J., joined. THO-MAS, J., and BREYER, J., filed dissenting opinions.


Really want to read Thomas opinion now cause that seems a bit wierd, I'll also have joel look it over since he's more informed about that sort of thing. good news though!

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nice, gonna check on GAF (they got actual lawyers there, which helps). Scalia is batshit crazy, but if he was of use here, that's good.


you wanna make this the legal cases pertaining to gaming thread? cause this one's been bothering me ever since i found it.


We can, I'll have to do some research since I thought there were some cases where the EULA wasn't uphelde and I know it's not good for everything it says. I'd have joel look at it but since he's not on here anymore...

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