First Amendment Expert Rips California’s Violent Video Game Law

A veteran First Amendment attorney has ripped California’s 2005 violent video game statute along with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who signed the measure into law.

As GamePolitics has extensively reported, in May California petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review lower court rulings which held that the measure is unconstitutional. The Court is expected to announce its decision in the fall.

Broadcasting & Cable reports on criticisms of the California law penned by Robert Corn-Revere (left):

In 2009, the killer cyborg turned governor has materialized in the present from the past in a plot to undermine the First Amendment.

In seeking review, California is asking the Supreme Court to reverse 60 years of First Amendment jurisprudence and to hold that ‘excessively violent’ material-whatever that may be-‘deserves no constitutional protection.’ It is also asking the Court to relieve government from actually having to demonstrate the purported harmfulness of speech it seeks to regulate, but instead to defer to "reasonable inferences" and legislative judgments.

If California is successful, it will open the door to regulate not just video games, but a wide range of speech that is currently protected under the First Amendment.

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  1. Gabriel Celesta says:

    Looks like I’ll have to take a page from sortableturnip’s book and post a picture:

  2. StormyHotWolf88 says:

    Yay for the constitution! Sometimes I feel people are always trying to change it for their own purposes. I mean, how can you misread such a clear document?

  3. GoodRobotUs says:

    I find it unusual that California, a state governed by a man who wouldn’t BE the governor were it not for exactly the kind of media he now seeks to legislate, should be doing this ‘in the name of the children’ whilst, at the same time they are cutting funding to education to save money.

    The best tool you could hope to give your children in this day and age is a good education, is Schwarzenegger to have us believe that Video Game legislation is more important in the fight against gang/drug culture than education is?

  4. ZenAndNow says:

    Personally I always wonder what horrible actions of their own they’re hiding behind the children.

  5. Icehawk says:

    Ah but you seem to forget the age old adage:   

    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications. 

    Oh well.  Maybe after Oct/Nov when Arnie is gone.  Though I cannot for the life of me remember a time when California and Sanity or at least Common sense (another pair of words that should not be spoken together) were considered to have common grounds. 


  6. hellfire7885 says:

    Silly Zippy, they aren’t interested in good, simple ideas. They want ideas that are overly complicated, will cost more money than they bring in, and will discouraged buinesses from ever working in thier state.

  7. Father Time says:

    Yeah man people shouldn’t have to back up their reasoning for banning things or demonstrate that the whole premise the law is built around is even true. That would require you know work, and facts.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  8. PHX Corp says:

    If california’s appeal is rejected the War against video games would be considered done and over(somewhat)

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

  9. PHX Corp says:

    my… Virgin Eyes(sarcasm)

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

  10. CyberSkull says:

    If this holds up, I will campaign against unicorns. For too long have our children been warped by this phallic filth!

    See, I can make up crazy assertions too!

  11. Rennie Davis says:

    Unlike some who hold themselves out to be “expert” in free speech law, Bob Corn-Revere is widely recognized and respected as an expert by his peers in the First Amendment bar.

    Corn-Revere has represented CBS in the litigation over the network’s airing of the Super Bowl half-time show where Janet Jackson had her infamous “wardrobe malfunction” and in the “fleeting expletives” case. He also represented Playboy in a case that established that cable television is protected by the First Amendment and overturned requirements that Playboy Television either fully scramble its signal or restrict its programming to late night hours.
    Additionally, he has taught communications law, is a co-author of a legal treatise – Modern Communications Law, and has served on the boards of numerous respected free speech organizations.
  12. Monte says:

    Most likely have a law degree, with extensive studying of constitutional law and then building a carrier specifically around the first amendment; such as representing and consulting clients on first amendment issues for years and years and doing a good job at it… you become an "expert" based on your knowledge and SUCCESSFUL experience with the subject (as in your stance is the one matched by the constitutional courts)… if your not successful, then it’s indication that your knowledge is lacking… ofcourse that won’t stop jackasses from claiming to be experts

    It’s more or less how anyone becomes regarded as an "expert" in anything.

  13. Zerodash says:

    Exactly what does someone have to do to be called a "First Amendment Expert"?  That title seems to be kind of nebulous…

  14. Beacon80 says:

    Even nicer to see one that actually understands the first amendment.  Remember the "biofeedback" crap?

  15. 1AgainstTheWorld says:

    Still, it’s nice to see a "First Amendment Expert" on this site whose initials aren’t "J" and "T".

  16. ZippyDSMlee says:

    It would ahve been smarter to put a 20% tax on porn items and online streaming, that way they have a more plausable revenue stream to go after.


    I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay’s outside our bedrooms..

  17. Vake Xeacons says:

    That’s so true. And we’re going bankrupt because we’re “protecting our children.” It’s a vicious cycle.

  18. vellocet says:

     Don’t you see?  It’s precisely because they have all those troubles that they’re doing this… "Ya, we may be bankrupt, but don’t pay attention to that.  We’re protecting your children!!"

  19. CMiner says:

    It still amazes me that while their state is going bankrupt and they are having to fire teachers, police, firemen and release prisoners in an attempt to save money, that they are still wasting money on this nonsense.

  20. SeanB says:

    It’s not like California has a great track record for laws recently.

    A couple years ago, they attempted to levy a rediculous tax on the adult content being made there. They wanted to add a 25% tax, per step, to the production process. They found 5 steps, which meant that each and every "film" produced there would have an additional 125% tax upon it.

    That didn’t go over well. The companies literally said "if you enact this tax, we’l just move our business, and then you’l have 0$ tax revenue from us"

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