Report: Override of Utah Guv’s Game Bill Unlikely (but still possible)

An override of HB 353, the video game/movie bill vetoed recently by Gov. Jon Huntsman, seems unlikely, according to Utah’s Deseret News.

Citing "legislative sources," the paper reports that a poll of lawmakers indicates that neither the Utah House nor the Senate have the two-thirds majority needed for an override session:

[Bill sponsor] Rep. Mike Morley… said he sent out a letter to his 74 House colleagues refuting some of the "misunderstandings" about his bill detailed in Huntsman’s veto letter. Morley says his bill did not have constitutional problems.

Other than that, Morley said he has not tried to contact individual legislators seeking their support for an override session…

Senate President Michael Waddoups… said he believes he could get a two-thirds vote for an override, but if the House couldn’t find two-thirds to override a vetoed bill sponsored by a House member (and both were), "we aren’t going to go out on a limb if they don’t want to do it."

The override deadline expires in May.

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  1. guzidem says:

    I still find it baffling that the people backing the bill can't follow the simple logic that if you introduce the opportunity for prosecution if people don't follow a voluntary system, people will just ditch the voluntary system.


  2. TBoneTony says:

    So May will be the telling month.

    I will just let it be then and wait to see what happens before I post on this subject then.


    No boubt that will give the Eagle forum enough time to lie about this bill though the TV stations.

    But I have a feeling that nobody is willing to listen if the A.G. had already vetoed it and when there is a large number of parents who want the ESRB ratings to be displayed in the stores.


  3. Brainswarm says:

    Yes, the real fax numbers must be hidden.  Remember the Great Fax Machine Slaughter in Alabama, and the brave fax machines that gave their lives to protect us from one man’s mania.  It must not be repeated!!!

  4. mdo7 says:


    Jack Thompson trying and attempting to get the veto overrides with his so-called "evidence" in 3…2…1



  5. Shadow D. Darkman says:



  6. Ratros says:

    I’m not an expert or anything, but last time I checked the bill was constitutional.  It’s stupid, won’t work, and will cause many retailers to ignore the ERSB system, but I don’t recall it being unconstitutional. Though I could be wrong.

    I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

  7. Hackangel says:

    I would like to read Morley’s letter. I want to know how is he explaining his bill is constitutional. He should also be adressing how retailers will keep a voluntary system leaving them open to frivolous lawsuit instead of droping tools helpful to parents.

  8. Charax says:


    I still find it baffling that the people backing the bill can’t follow the simple logic that if you introduce the opportunity for prosecution if people don’t follow a voluntary system, people will just ditch the voluntary system.

  9. Wraith108 says:

    I think Rep Morley is the one that has misunderstood the constitutional problems with his bill.

  10. BearDogg-X says:

    Rep. Morley’s crying over the veto just as much as Thompson has.

    Speaking of the veto, Sean Bersell of the EMA has a letter in the Salt Lake Tribune praising Gov. Huntsman for the veto:

    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)

  11. JDKJ says:

    Morely should be crying more than Thompson has been crying. Morely risked his good reputation and credibility by introducing HB353 and lost some of both. Thompson had very little good reputation or credibility left to lose. 

  12. Lost Question says:

    im not from the united states of america but as far as ive been able to dig up is that regardless of good intent this bill is a legal no-no because it puts the force of law behind a private group (yes the ESRB is not a branch the government) although i may be wrong about that

    also it has a chilling effect if unopposed because no buisness wants to be open for someone to legal abuse (there are people that abuse the handycap laws in place *see penn & teller’s bullshit: handycapped parking its season 5 episode 7) so any games retailer would refuse to sell ESRB rated games (although i wonder what games would look like if they didnt hand them to the esrb for rating) and now since retailers arnt selling rated games developers would stop seeking a rating for a game they wish to publish. then theres a whole new can of worms

  13. Vake Xeacons says:

    If it was constitutional, it would be completely useless.

    Morley introduced the bill with the idea of the game industry being 94% effective at restricting the sale of M-rated games to minors (excuse me, "those below the recommended age rating"). He just wanted to target that other six percent.

    Problem: Morley had this idea that 94% of retailers NEVER sell M-rated games to kids, while the other 6% blatently do. That’s not how it is. The average retail is 94% effective, and then slip up occasionally; like when the dumb temp they hire during the Holidays forgets to ask for ID.

    Morley claimed he put in "safe harbors" for those times, effectively bringing up the impunity for the bill from 94% to 100%. The bill would be completely useless. Everyone would either be competely impuned. Unless those safe harbors didn’t work; then everyone who wasn’t 100% (and who’s perfect?) would get their ass handed to them legally.

    In short: the bill would either impune or punish everyone.

  14. JDKJ says:

    I’ll bet you Morely pulled a Jack Thompson: "Clearly my bill isn’t unconstitutional because . . . well, it just isn’t."

  15. Hackangel says:

    Well I’m not an expert but I am going with Grover Norquist’s opinion that "Beyond the obvious First Amendment violation this bill presents and the dubious nature of making legally binding voluntary industry ratings, H.B. 353 violates the Dormant Commerce Clause of the Constitution as well…"

    Or with Attorney General Shurtleff’s opinion that "This year’s bill had concerns. They weren’t as significant as they were two years ago, or three years ago, whenever it was because there hadn’t been all the court decisions on it".

    Ultimately, I think a court of law would have made the decision if it was constitutional or not, not representative Morley.

  16. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Hah, very good!


  17. Pierre-Olivier says:

    There’s someone we know that would gladly keep using that word. But I don’t think it means what he think it means (like many things, by the way).

  18. Icehawk says:

    Get the feeling that Mr Morley is being pressured by the Eagle Forum who have been oddly quiet about all this after their lead-up. 

    Bet jackie is frothing a bit at the mouth though.  Pity.  

  19. JC says:

    Actually, the real concern is they want to know they’ll win the override vote for sure. They don’t want to call the session, throwing away $25k and then find out they lost the vote. From what I’m gathering, it seems most are pretty lazy about wanting to vote on the two bills that were vetoed.

  20. JDKJ says:

    Looks like no one wants to override only to then have the law overturned in court and listen to Gov. Huntsman and A.G. Shurtleff chiming, "I told you so." 

  21. Cerabret100 says:

    Also, according to kotaku, it would cost them about $25,000 to veto it because of a canceld "Interim Study Day" or whatever that is.

    Probably best to go read it on the site then trust my word.

  22. Pierre-Olivier says:

    Someone we know sure doesn’t look very happy, no?

    A few months earlier, he was all "We’re gonna make the entire industry pisssssssssss in their pantssss!"

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