Judge: Chicago Transit Authority Cannot Ban VG Ads

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has won a preliminary injunction in its lawsuit against the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) over the banning of advertisements for adult-rated videogames.

An ordinance (008-147) that took effect in January of 2009 prohibited any advertisement that “markets or identifies a video or computer game rated ‘Mature 17+’ (M) or ‘Adults Only 18+’ (AO).”  The ESA argued that such a ban unconstitutionally “restricts speech in a public forum that is otherwise open to all speakers without a compelling interest for doing so.”

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted the ESA an injunction, with Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer stating:

…the advertisements the CTA wishes to ban promote expression that has constitutional value and implicates core First Amendment concerns.

The ESA further challenged that the CTA ordinance is redundant since videogame-related marketing is already regulated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board’s (ESRB) Advertising Review Council.

ESA President Michael Gallagher was obviously pleased:

This ruling is a win for Chicago’s citizens, the video game industry and, above all, the First Amendment. It is our hope that the CTA sees the futility of pursuing this case further. To do so will waste taxpayer money and government resources.

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


  1. 0
    Bigman-K says:

    This is not suprising but it should be known that unlike restriction of game sales or censorship of games in general Advertisments are commercial Speech and only an intermediate level of scrutiny is needed to justify a ban or restriction rather then strict scrutiny. So cases like this could be easier for the nanny-state to win but I still think they would fail.

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

  2. 0
    Shadow D. Darkman says:

    I remembered how I did it.

    EDIT: In hindsight, I realize I should have used Wolf’s pic to do the joke right.


    "A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar


  3. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    …If this was in Chicago…wouldn’t it have probably been some batshit-insane Democrat/liberal that wanted the ads banned?

    Note that I’m not trying to imply that conservatives don’t, just that in this case it probably would’ve been people of the "Hillary Clinton" persuasion that want to "protect teh childrenz."

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  4. 0
    Zerodash says:

    I guess some conservative out there is penning the obligatory "activist judges" response with the now-required "the Founding Fathers never intended this filth to be thrust upon children" lines.


  5. 0
    Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Wonder what Jack will have to say about this?

    He’ll probably do to Judge Pallmeyer what he tried to do to Judge Tunis. What’s the betting on how bad his FAIL will be?


    "A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Leave a Reply