As expected, the Utah House of Representatives has dropped a Jack Thompson-authored video game bill over constitutional concerns.
The Deseret News reports that Rep. Scott Wyatt, (R, left) sponsor of the failed legislation, will now propose a resolution which calls upon Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff to provide support to other states which may become involved in legal battles over game legislation. Such support could include the filing of amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs.
If the resolution, HJR15, is passed as expected, a copy will be sent to every member of Utah’s congressional delegation as well as the attorneys general of the other 49 states. Check out some language from the resolution:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah calls upon the Utah Attorney General to monitor the ongoing development of these laws throughout the nation, both in courts and in legislative halls, with the end design of having Utah’s voice heard in the fight against overly violent video games and their sordid progeny.
The compromise solution was originally suggested by Rep. Kay McIff (R). Of the resolution, Wyatt said:
It will allow us to weigh in on this issue in the courts.
HJR15, which enjoys the support of A.G. Shurtleff now rests with the House Rules Committee.
GP: There’s a yin and yang to Utah’s strategy. One one hand, the resolution avoids a costly, unwinnable constitutional battle while allowing Rep. Wyatt to save a little face and extricate himself from an embarrassing situation highlighted (lowlighted?) by Jack Thompson’s outrageous call for the impeachment of the state’s attorney general, Mark Shurtleff.
On the other hand, the resolution has somewhat of a spineless quality, essentially saying to other states, "Hey, go for it. We’re glad to watch you spend your money."