Schwarzenegger vs EMA Gets SCOTUS Oral Argument Date

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 10 AM ET is when oral arguments will be made in front of the Supreme Court of the United States for case number 08-1448, better known as Schwarzenegger vs EMA.

The one-hour long session is the first on that day’s calendar (PDF) and will see the Court answer a pair of questions related to a California state law originally authored by State Senator Leland Yee, which sought to ban the sale of violent videogames to minors.

The two questions posed to the Court are:

1.  Does the First Amendment bar a state from restricting the sale of violent video games to minors?

2.  If the First Amendment applies to violent video games that are sold to minors, and the standard of review is strict scrutiny, under Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. F.C.C., 512 U.S. 622, 666 (1994), is the state required to demonstrate a direct causal link between violent video games and physical and psychological harm to minors before the state can prohibit the sale of the games to minors?

The Court, unfortunately for all of us waiting, has no set time table under which it must decide on the case and/or issue a decision, other than it must be decided before the Court’s summer recess begins, which is usually at the end of June.

More on arguments from the Supreme Court website:

During an argument week, the Justices meet in a private conference, closed even to staff, to discuss the cases and to take a preliminary vote on each case. If the Chief Justice is in the majority on a case decision, he decides who will write the opinion. He may decide to write it himself or he may assign that duty to any other Justice in the majority. If the Chief Justice is in the minority, the Justice in the majority who has the most seniority assumes the assignment duty.

Also, if you were wondering where new Chief Justice Elena Kagan would be sitting, wonder no more as SCOTUS has also released the Court’s new seating chart. Kagan will be sitting to the left of Justice Samuel Alito, all the way on the right side of the Court as viewing it from the audience.

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  1. 0
    Thad says:

    1. It’s not a question of passing a bill.  The bill has already been passed; it’s a law and it’s being challenged in the Supreme Court.

    2. It doesn’t ban any content; it bans violent games being sold to minors.  While I think that’s a bad thing and fundamentally oppose it, it’s not what you’re describing at all.

    3. Suggesting the UK puts more stock in free speech than the US is a bit of an oversimplification.  While they certainly allow, for example, more adult content in their broadcast TV, they don’t have a First Amendment like we do.  There are much stronger restrictions on political speech and the like.

  2. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Games are a form of speech and thus should be protected. The people who are so adamant about banning them just refuse to acknowledge that.They’re just going through what video game,s movie,s music, hell, al lforms of media have before.

  3. 0
    Cheater87 says:

    I have 2 games preordered from the UK if this censorship bill passes. With games not being free speech anymore the states can ban all blood, gore, dismemberment, sexual content, etc. Leaving us with what Germany and Australia have for their games.

  4. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "[Under strick scrutiny] is the state required to demonstrate a direct causal link between violent video games and physical and psychological harm to minors before the state can prohibit the sale of the games to minors?"

    As I understand it, the state has to do more than just show that there’s something out there psychologically harming children that the state needs to protect them from, it also has to show that the law will protect them from said harm (it won’t) and show that the law is more effective than the measures already out there (it isn’t).


    Andrew Eisen

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