In Louisiana, Jack Thompson Bill Gutted By Sponsor, Deferred

SB 152, the Louisiana Senate bill drafted by Jack Thompson, underwent a rather odd hearing yesterday before the Senate’s Commerce, Consumer Protection and International Affairs Committe.

The bill, similar to one vetoed recently by Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, would have made the sale of an age-restricted item to a minor a deceptive trade practice with potential civil penalties for the seller. As with his failed Utah legislation, Thompson’s Louisiana bill was a roundabout way of legislating the ESRB rating system. Although SB 152 did not mention video games specifically, they were clearly the intended target.

However, at yesterday’s hearing, bill sponsor Sen. A.G. Crowe (R, at left) proposed amendments which essentially gutted the measure. Crowe told the committee that he "conferred with industry, with staff and with constitutional attornies" on the changes.

Crowe’s amendments, which appeared to perplex his Senate colleagues, turned the focus of the bill from age-rated consumer items to pornography. Crowe noted that the original intent of the measure was to protect children from violent video games, but said that concerns over constitutional issues led him to focus on pornography instead.

The sale of pornography to minors is already illegal, however, leading Sen. Danny Martiny (R) to grill Crowe at length about the bill:

Why? What are we fixing? What we’re doing here… is we’re taking something that’s already criminal and making it a deceptive trade practice…

 

It’s not very clear at all where you’re going with this…

Ultimately, Crowe voluntarily deferred the measure; the amendments changing its focus to pornography were not added. SB 152 remains listed with the Louisiana Senate but is not assigned to a committee. For now, at least, it appears sidetracked.

As for Thompson, he did not testify at the hearing, nor was his name mentioned. GamePolitics asked him to comment about SB 152 but the disbarred attorney declined.

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47 comments

  1. 0
    Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Wait, you said CandleJack’s name, and yet you w

    —————————–

    "The sun will always rise tomorrow. We can only live for today, and hope more days will come." -Unknown

  2. 0
    Killj0y says:

    This has been tried before.

    This started with JBT trying to get video games declared a dangerous and obscene.  I’m actually surprised that he couldn’t get a florida court to agree with him.  Maybe he just needs a jury to snow.

    He can’t stop the company from making the games, he can’t stop the stores from carrying the games, he can’t stop the ESRB from rating the games, he can’t stop the parents from buying the games and he can’t stop the people from playing the games.

     

    Censorship is not selective.  When you make it impossible for 1 person or group to play and enjoy an item you make it impossible for ALL groups to play and enjoy an item.

  3. 0
    Michael Chandra says:

    Just because someone is an idiot, doesn’t mean you should suddenly fully disregard them as reporter. Furthermore, logging his words and his actions allows for evidence to be used against him.

  4. 0
    TBoneTony says:

    Why? What are we fixing? What we’re doing here… is we’re taking something that’s already criminal and making it a deceptive trade practice…

     

    It’s not very clear at all where you’re going with this…

    Translation: Jack Thompson, perhaps it is best if you GET A LIFE!!!!

  5. 0
    Roh02 says:

    jack thompson isnt anything anymore he never was but now he isnt even a lawyer will "GamePolitics.com" PLEASE stop asking him for his worthless comments.

    this is how jack news ALLWAYS goes

    new load of bull
    Jack: your all done for now
    *failure*
    *jack sends porn and threats*
    Jack: ha I wasnt even trying watch out even more
    *failure*
    Jack: its all lies its a conspiracy
    *sends more porn and threats*

    how is this news anymore?

  6. 0
    NotSoHardcoreGamer says:

    I know you’re being sarcastic and witty, but I gotta say it…

    The only thing Jack has is his name?  The mere mention of it drains away any serious reception of whatever it’s attached to.  As soon as people with influence or in government hear it, what immediately follows is a collective groan.  That’s why all his "partners" in legislation try their best to avoid mentioning him.

  7. 0
    Ryno says:

    I hereby DEMAND that John Bruce Thompson respond to this news by this time tomorrow with more of his inane denials and empty threats. Or else.

     

    Saying that Jack Thompson is impotent is an insult to impotent men everywhere. They’ve got a whole assortment of drugs that can cure their condition; Jack, however…

  8. 0
    MaskedPixelante says:

    So in other words, it basically has nothing to do with games anymore, and is so redundant that it has no chance of passing?

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  9. 0
    CK20XX says:

    That I understand.  But… well, I’m gonna seem a bit nitpicky here, but I wish people would use his full name instead.

    Call him John Bruce Thompson, but not Jack.  Save Jack for wisecracks, like my Candlejack one there.  John Bruce is a much more effective use of English in news reports because one’s full name is their core.  Heck, we all learned that as little kids whenever we got into situations like this one:

    "Thomas Sawyer!"

    Tom knew that when his name was pronounced in full, it meant trouble.


     

    ————————-

    "They were retarded hairless pink bunnies, all of them. Except Shigeru Myamoto and… well, the good ones were just too /rare/ to be worth bothering about." – Mason Hornblower on the extinction of the human race

  10. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    And shouldn’t John Bruce’s name be splashed all over this? This was a complete disaster of a legislative proposal. Guess who had the original idea for it. John Bruce. It was his idea and Crowe killed it. It deserves to be connected with John Bruce and he deserves it as well. By exposing John Bruce’s weak connections like this, it is becoming more and more apparent that he has no real clout and only those morons who are easily manipulated will ever listen to him again.

    I feel sorry for Crowe and the crap that John Bruce is probably sending him, but John Bruce deserves it every time his name is drug through the mud.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  11. 0
    CK20XX says:

    Nice.  I have a question though, one about how these reports are covered.  Do you /have/ to specifically mention Jack Thompson in the story?  The legislators certainly didn’t.

    Jack is so devoid of power and relevance that the only thing he has going for him is his name.  He has only a horrible history attached to it, but you know the old saying about how any publicity is good publicity.  So, DON’T SAY HIS NAME!  It’s the only thing that gives Candlejack Thompson his power!

    ————————-

    "They were retarded hairless pink bunnies, all of them. Except Shigeru Myamoto and… well, the good ones were just too /rare/ to be worth bothering about." – Mason Hornblower on the extinction of the human race

  12. 0
    Alevan says:

    Wow. I wonder if Garnet’s writing campaign to inform the people about the bill worked in some way…?

    We may never know but this IS good news.

    Amy Levandoski

  13. 0
    JDKJ says:

    I agree. Something about him recently ain’t like the Jack-O I know and love. When was his last publicity stunt? His e-mail to Miss Utah warning her not to wear a bikini in Utah? That was months ago. He’s never before gone this long without making a complete ass of himself. Something ain’t right. 

  14. 0
    HarmlessBunny says:

    Ahhhh nothing like a good "told you so" to Jack. I guess somewhere in his derranged mind he guessed that: "If the first time you don’t succeed, try another state". Sadly the plan backfired…again. Poor Jack, this repeated attempt to shoot himself in the foot is just getting tiresome. I almost pity….almost.

     

    Queue the countdown till he sends an angry letter to his "opponent(s)" and "allies" again.

  15. 0
    Zerodash says:

    Thompson might be in the process of giving up.  The Supreme Court didn’t give him his licence back (despite Jack’s promises), and his meltdown over Utah resulted in even more people being aware of his shitty personality- to say nothing of the Eagle Forum.  These things might have forced him to reevaluate his life.

  16. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    I remember the last time John Bruce refused to comment on a story. Minutes later he sent a scathing email to the Utah bill sponser.

    When asked for comment by GamePolitics, Thompson said that he hadn’t seen Morley’s e-mail and "couldn’t care less." Within minutes, however, he fired off an e-mail of his own to Utah largely conservative legislators

    http://www.gamepolitics.com/2009/04/22/utah-bill-sponsor-apologizes-colleagues-jack-thompson

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  17. 0
    sqlrob says:

    There’s no way that would pass the Miller test. There’s not a single mainstream game that comes close, especially when compared to other media. Violence alone has already been explicitly excluded as a criteria.

    You forgot one other option – insane.

     

  18. 0
    Tristram says:


    I mean a mainstream things like GTA4… I’m not saying they are porn, I’m just trying to figure out where they were trying to go with this.  No one does something like this accidentally unless they are incompetent. 

  19. 0
    JDKJ says:

    The "hole" in the Miller test which allows the obscene to pass through is about the same size as the eye of a darning needle. There ain’t much of anything which is going to pass Miller

  20. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    Going back to the recent Utah bill, the AG said that he had his team look at GTA IV and came out saying it wasn’t obscene.

    But, last year we had my investigators with my Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force go through the entire game Grand Theft Auto IV because we’d heard that a lot of people had concerns about pornographic references and so forth and whether it could meet the definition of material harmful to a minor. After they reviewed it with staff prosecutors they determined it wasn’t prosecutable.

    http://www.gamepolitics.com/2009/04/01/utah-attorney-general-thompson-bring-it-jack

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  21. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Creating new laws to outlaw something that is already illegal is a time honored way to give the voters the impression that you are ‘doing something’ without actually risking your neck.

    A classic example from a little while ago was after the bank failures the fed made a certian type of naked short selling illegal for a certian group of companies… a ‘you can not do this with the stock of XYZ for a few months’ type measure.  With the problem being that the practice was already illegal for ALL stocks.  But it made it SOUND like they were doing something against short selling.

  22. 0
    stinky42 says:

    Basically what I gathered is that Crowe handed the bill off to his lawyers and told them to fix it to be constitutional.  Making it have nothing to do with the original bill was the only way they could figure out how to do that.  I kind of wonder how Crowe ended up as vice chair of this committee, he seems to be a bumbling idiot.

  23. 0
    JDKJ says:

    That’s precisely how Idiot-Jack envisions this "working." The legislation as currently drafted says something about liability for selling a product previously ruled by a court to be obscene. The difficulty in that, however, and that which would render the legislation, if enacted into law, a non-starter with respect to video games, is that the possibliity of having a video game pass the Miller test and be declared obscene is a good as a snowflake’s survival chances on a hot summer day.

    And this illustrates the problem with people like Jack-O who approach legal issues with all the heart and soul but never with their minds. He honestly believes with all his heart and soul that GTAIV is "obscene." But that doesn’t at all mean that a well-reasoned, thoughtful legal analysis involving the application of relevant law to known facts will arrive at the same conclusion. But try telling him that.

  24. 0
    sqlrob says:

    There already are pornographic games, and they’re treated as porn.

    The Miller test would prevent most (99.99+%) games actually submitted for ESRB and available in stores. The ESRB ones that are possibly porn are already AO and wouldn’t be in most stores already.

     

  25. 0
    Tristram says:

    I’m betting turning to to pornography was a way to avoid the constitutional protection of speech that video games recieve by focusing it on something also highly regulated.  After that they would just need to get a game defined as ponographic on an individual level.  If they could do just one, this would set a precident.  Legal persons, any thoughts?

  26. 0
    Sukasa says:

    Thompson decling to comment?  He must have the swine flu or something… I mean when has he ever wanted to decline a chance to toss out his christian beliefs and decry the video game business?

  27. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    Let’s just put it this way: If there was a mercy rule, this would have ended long ago.

    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)

  28. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    Thompson must still be in shock over this one if he declined comment.

    Well, I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens next with the bill, if Crowe decides to resubmit it or not.

    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)

  29. 0
    JDKJ says:

    While Jack-O was never mentioned by name, there was a point in Martiny’s questioning of Crowe when I suspect that Martiny had Mr. Thompson in mind. It was when Crowe was a a-stuttering and a-spluttering, trying feebly to explain the benefits of SB 152 and Martiny pointedly — and a bit sharply– asked him, "On who’s behalf are you actually bringing this legislation?"*

     

     

     

    ___________________

    *Paraphrased.

  30. 0
    1AgainstTheWorld says:

    Yeah, Jack’s silence says a mouthful.

    Dennis, did he at least call you an idiot or a loser or something when you asked for his comments?

  31. 0
    sqlrob says:

    As for Thompson, he did not testify at the hearing, nor was his name mentioned. GamePolitics asked him to comment about SB 152 but the disbarred attorney declined

    buh? Did some pod people take over JT or something? Jack not run his mouth off, how is that possible?

     

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