With the constitutional battle over California’s 2005 video game law apparently heading to the U.S. Supreme Court, potential appointments to the Court by President-elect Barack Obama take on added significance to gamers.
While there are no current SCOTUS vacancies, NPR’s Nina Totenberg reports that, given the age of the current justices, one or more slots are likely to open up during Obama’s presidency.
Among potential Obama appointees, Totenberg drops the name of Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Veteran GamePolitics readers will recall that Granholm was the driving force behind Michigan’s 2005 violent video game law, later ruled unconstitutional by a U.S. District Court judge. Michigan was compelled to pay the video game industry’s legal fees in that case to the tune of $182,349.
In 2006 Granholm also joined other Michigan politicians in calling for a boycott of Eidos’ controversial cops-and-robbers shooter 25-to-Life.
The appointment of Granholm could influence any Supreme Court consideration of laws related to video games. Current Justice Antonin Scalia has previously commented that video game restrictions might be constitutional.
Totenberg also notes that Hillary Clinton, whose anti-game resume far exceeds that of Granholm, has been mentioned as a possible justice. However, Totenberg concludes that a Clinton appointment would be seen as far too political for the Supreme Court.
Obama, of course, is an expert on constitutional law. In his book, The Audacity of Hope, he writes:
The Constitution envisions a road map by which we marry passion to reason — the ideal of individual freedom to the demands of community. And the amazing thing is that it has worked.