BREAKING – Appeals Court Terminates Gov. Schwarzenegger’s CA Video Game Law

The 9th Circuit Court has affirmed a U.S. District Court decision which struck down California’s 2005 violent video game law.

As GamePolitics reported last November, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit heard the state’s appeal in Sacramento. In upholding the District Court’s 2007 ruling, the 9th Circuit rejected several research studies presented by the states as failing to demonstrate a causal link between violent video game play and negative behavior:

Nearly all of the research is based on correlation, not evidence of causation, and most of the studies suffer from significant, admitted flaws in methodology.

The Court also rejected as unconstitutional a section of the law requiring retailers to label violent games with a four-inch square label with "18" printed on it.

Reactions to the ruling are beginning to come in. Jennifer Mercurio, Director of Government Affairs for the Entertainment Consumers Association, said:

We couldn’t be happier. Federal courts have found all nine legislative attempts to curtail the sale of violent video games invalid under the First Amendment, definitively showing that video games are protected speech, just like other content such as books, comic books, movies and music.

Bo Andersen, CEO of game retailers’ group the Entertainment Merchants Association, said:

Retailers are committed to assisting parents in assuring that children do not purchase games that are not appropriate for their age. Independent surveys show that retailers are doing a very good job in this area, with an 80% enforcement rate, and retailers will continue to work to increase enforcement rates even further. The court has correctly noted that the state cannot simply dismiss these efforts.

I understand that some government officials will push for the state to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review this decision. The state should not acquiesce in this demand, particularly in light of its budget difficulties. The state has already wasted too many tax dollars, at least $283,000 at last count, on this ill-advised, and ultimately doomed, attempt at state-sponsored nannyism.

ESA CEO Mike Gallagher called the ruling "a win for California’s citizens."

With the 9th Circuit’s rejection of the California video game law, the question now becomes whether Gov. Schwarzenegger will appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The Entertainment Consumers Association is the parent company of GamePolitics.

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38 comments

  1. 0
    MasterAssassin says:

    Given that this is the most liberal court in the country, I frankly am not surprised. It’s still good news and I hope this sends a message to politicians and the special interest groups that push this crap.

  2. 0
    Wormdundee says:

     No, I don’t support this at all. There’s already the ESRB rating box on the game, why should M games be treated any differently? You can’t give these people anything, or they will take everything.

  3. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    Hey, Yo. SURVEY SAYS…….One More For The Good Guys!

    We Are The Champions

    I’ve paid my dues, time after time
    I’ve done my sentence, but committed no crime
    And bad mistakes, I’ve made a few
    I’ve had my share of sand, kicked in my face
    But I’ve come through

    And I need to go on and on and on and on
    We are the champions, my friend
    And we’ll keep on fighting till the end
    We are the champions, We are the champions
    No time for losers ‘cos we are the champions of the world

    I’ve taken my bows, and my curtain calls
    You’ve bought me fame and fortune
    And everything that goes with it… I thank you all
    But it’s been no bed of roses, no pleasure cruise
    I consider it a challenge before the whole human race
    And I ain’t gonna lose

    And I need to go on and on and on and on
    We are the champions, my friend
    And we’ll keep on fighting till the end
    We are the champions, We are the champions
    No time for losers ‘cos we are the champions of the world

    We are the champions, my friend
    And we’ll keep on fighting till the end
    We are the champions, We are the champions
    No time for losers, ‘cos we are the champions

    And another anti-video game law bites the dust.

    Another one bites the dust, another one bites the dust
    And another one gone, and another one gone, another one bites the dust
    Hey, I’m gonna get you too, another one bites the dust

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.


    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  4. 0
    Wolvenmoon says:

    How’s about putting the barcode in bright red in stores, as opposed to marring the game boxes? Or having the violent/M rated games in a seperate glass case with the red barcode on them? Same positive effect, less negative one.

  5. 0
    mdo7 says:

    This is good news,

     

    first it was the end of California Budget Crisis then this.  At least some people make common sense.  I can hear JT crying for California’s video game law failing and also the Utah video game law will fail also.  Double the epic fail for Jack Thompson.

     

    " I guess the bill WON"T BE BACK"  or what about this "Hasta la vista, Leland Yee"

  6. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    Actually, it’d be 11 out of 11(Minnesota’s fine the buyer law being ruled unconstitutional in District and 8th Circuit Court of Appeals).

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.


    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  7. 0
    Sukasa says:

    Gotta admit though if it did go in front of SCOTUS and lost that would hopefully be the stake in the vampires heart and we would see far less of these laws being made.

  8. 0
    JDKJ says:

    Why? What’s the cost involved? That of drafting and filing a petition for certiorari and having someone go argue the case for the State before the Court if it’s granted? That’s not breaking anyone’s bank enough to pose a real obstacle. 

  9. 0
    MaskedPixelante says:

    To be fair, the reason he said it was because he thought that this time it was going to work. Now that it has failed catastrophically, he’s going to say something like "it was a misquote".

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  10. 0
    Michael Chandra says:

    Not that much since, as stated by several people above, they probably wouldn’t bother. "All districts in 9 different cases all came to the same decision? Pass. Do we have something interesting to go hard-boiled party-line over?"

  11. 0
    Benji says:

    CA could appeal to the Supreme Court, but from what I gather SCotUS probably wouldn’t even bother to hear it.  SCotUS receives a lot more petitions for cert (a hearing) than it has time for so it usually only picks ones that raise interesting questions of law or that would resolve conflicts between different districts or circuits.  If any court had ever upheld game laws then it might be a more interesting case, but as it is SCotUS isn’t going to step in to resolve a matter that lower courts seem to be handling just fine on their own.

  12. 0
    PHX Corp says:

    I doubt the video game law would be appealed to the supreme court, because california is in a budget crisis

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

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