The U.S. District Court Judge who ruled that Louisiana’s Jack Thompson-authored 2006 video game law was unconstitutional has ordered the state to pay the video game industry’s legal fees, to the tune of $92,000.
In his ruling, Judge James Brady (left) issued a blistering criticism of the Louisiana legislative process which led to the passage of the law:
The court is dumbfounded that the attorney general and the state are in the position of having to pay taxpayer money as attorneys fees and costs in this lawsuit. The act which this court found unconstitutional passed through committees in both the State House and Senate, and to be promptly signed by the Governor.
There are lawyers at each stage of this process. Some of the members of these committees are themselves lawyers. Presumably, they have staff members who are attorneys as well. The State House and Senate certainly have staff members who are attorneys. The governor has additional attorneys – the executive counsel.
Prior to the passage of the Act there were a number of reported cases from a number of jurisdictions which held similar statutes to be unconstitutional (and in which the defendant was ordered to pay substantial attorney’s fees). The Court wonders why nobody objected to the enactment of this statute. In this court’s view the taxpayers deserve more from their elected officials.
Despite Judge Brady’s surprisingly frank repudiation of both the video game law and the process that led to its passage, bill sponsor Rep. Roy Burrell (D) told Acadiana TV station KATC-3 he may try to pass another such bill in the future.
GamePolitics has the most complete coverage of the volatile Louisiana video game situation available anywhere.