Supreme EMA v. Schwarzenegger Decision Within a Week

The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to address an appeal of a Californian videogame law tomorrow, September 29.

Entertainment Merchants Association v. Schwarzenegger (formerly known as The Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) v. Schwarzenegger), revolves around a Californian law that banned the sale of certain videogames to anyone under 18 years of age. First signed into law by Schwarzenegger in 2005, the law was rejected again in February of 2009 by the 9th Circuit Court of California, which upheld an earlier 2007 ruling that deemed the law unconstitutional.

Schwarzenegger and California Attorney General Jerry Brown appealed to the Supreme Court in May of this year, marking the first time a case involving the restriction of violent game sales to minors has ever been considered by the top court of the United States.

As part of the proceedings, The Supreme Court will also decide whether to accept the amicus brief filed by California State Senator Leland Yee (D) in July of 2009. In the brief, Lee, who authored the original statute at the center of the whole case, argues why the Supreme Court should approve the state of California’s petition for a full hearing. He was supported in the brief by the California Psychiatric and California Psychological Associations.

The Supreme Court’s decision could take a few days or more. A final decision should be made public by next Monday, October 5.

Update: Just to clarify, The Supreme Court did consider a similar topic when ruling on American Amusement Machine Association et al. v Kendrick et al. in 2001, when it denied the City of Indianapolis’ petition for certiorari. That case centered on an attempt by the city to limit the display and operation of currency-based machines deemed harmful to minors.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. BearDogg-X says:

    10 cases granted cert so far, and California’s appeal is not among those.

    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)

  2. Wormdundee says:

    I have a feeling this won’t get heard by the Supreme Court. And rightly so. It’s already been struck down twice, but I guess Yee really feels the need for a hat trick until he shuts up. 

  3. Bigman-K says:

    Well some of us over 18 do believe minors esspecially older minors like teenagers deserve full Free Speech rights. The nanny-state should have no more right to decide what they can or can’t watch, play, read or listen to then adults. They should have the ability to form their own viewpoints based on unrestricted and uncensored access to media that have the capability of presenting ideas, information, messages and opinions.

     "No law means no law" – Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

  4. Cheater87 says:

    IIRC this bill was to ban ANYONE under 18 from violent video games even though the ESRB says the recommended age is 17 and up. They made all M games AO rated.

  5. Wraith108 says:

    My guess is that Stickboy is probably European like myself, most if not all rating bodies in this part of the world have the force of law behind them and for the most part it works out fine, though here in the UK Carmageddon and Manhunt 2 were banned for a while. Of course the Germans are a bit stricter and the Aussies are pretty much boned as far as getting any of the top FPS games out there uncut.

  6. Michael Chandra says:

    A private, voluntary, rating, getting enforced by law? Sounds real bad. Besides, these ratings are ADVISORY, not mandatory. Big difference.

  7. SticKboy says:

    But this Bill isn’t about an outright ban or censorship, is it? It’s about backing up the ESRB ratings with the force of law.

    I can’t get my head round why it’;s such a big issue for you… well, unless you’re under 17, I suppose.

  8. Flamespeak says:

    People will always make stupid bills whenever they feel like they don’t like something so it should be irradicated.

    I want a bill to stop having restraunts naturally put tomatoes on hamburgers, personally. They are slimey, fall off the burger, and negatively affect the taste. They should be a custom order addition instead of being part of the main sandwhich build.

  9. PHX Corp says:

    I looked at the petitions to watch part 5 on SCOTUSBlog No word of EMA v. Schwarzenegger in all 5 parts of petitions to watch so it has no chance of being granted

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

  10. Wraith108 says:

    I kinda hope the Supreme Court does decide to hear the case, though it’d suck for Cali. Also if whenever this does get struck down I hope you use a MK Fatality screenshot to accompany the story. 😀

  11. Krono says:

    Gubernatorial recall election, anyone?

    I wouldn’t recommend it. That last one was a five ring circus that landed you with Schwarzenegger. Another would pretty much be tempting fate.


  12. OmegaWarrior says:

    Right, because what California’s economy needs right now is more legal fees. 

    Gubernatorial recall election, anyone?

  13. Valdearg says:

    You know, I was wondering what this story had to do with an old Genesis Basketball game… Then I got it… You are a sneaky one, Pete…

  14. Kajex says:

    Still pisses me off that he made the appeal when the state was several billion dollars in the fucking hole. Right around the time when he went to Obama and asked "can i has moar monies"?

  15. Bigman-K says:

    Actually this is the second time the issue has gone to the Supreme Court. In 2001 an Indianapolis city arcade anti-gaming bylaw that was stuck down by 7th circuit court with a wonderfully worded opinion by Judge Posner was appealed to the Supreme Court and SCOTUS denied it. The case was AAMA v. Kendrick and it was the first anti-gaming law that was struck down by the courts.

     "No law means no law" – Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

  16. Zerodash says:

    I love how Mr. Yee had said years ago that he would not pursue any further anti-speech legislation after it was defeated.  Like a typical politician, he lied about that.

    I think we need a non-profit fundraiser to raise money to buy a copy of the Bill of Rights and have them delivered personally to every politician in Congress…

  17. BearDogg-X says:

    It’s looking more and more likely that SCOTUS will not hear the appeal.

    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)

  18. DarkSaber says:

    You forgot to mention the Eagle Forum also filed an amicus brief.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Comments are closed.