SCOTUS Blog Schwarzenegger v. EMA Preview

The SCOTUS Blog gives us a preview of the arguments we can expect from both sides of the Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association review before the Supreme Court on November 2. Deputy state attorney general Zackery P. Morazzini will argue for California (Jerry Brown is busy campaigning for Governor of the state), and Paul M. Smith of Jenner & Block will be arguing for the video game industry.

This is a great read because it covers everything about the case that you could possibly imagine, but the bit below sums up a general feeling about the SCOTUS taking up the case in the first place:

One of the briefs, from the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment and the Brechner First Amendment Project, implied that the Court may have taken on more of a societal challenge than it realized when it granted review of the case. By granting the petition, it commented, “the Court now stands primed to wade deeply into the culture war over media violence. This is a surreal, surrogate and substitute war…for addressing the problems of real-world violence, as California and other government entities play the media blame game…It also is a war over censorship.” What the Court is being asked to sustain, that brief said dismissively, is “feel-good legislation.”

Read the whole thing here.

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  1. 0
    Thad says:

    "It’s been pointed out multiple times that thinking the SCOTUS judges are perfectly objective machines is not realistic."

    Of course it isn’t, but that’s not the same thing as deducting points from an argument because somebody other than a state AG showed up to argue it.

    Now, if he’s a worse lawyer than the AG, then yeah, it’s going to hurt his case.  And the Justices’ own personal biases will play in on some level — that’s why we can say things like "Alito will probably side with California and Thomas with EMA."  But that’s not the same thing as taking the argument less seriously because somebody other than the AG showed up.

  2. 0
    Avalongod says:

    Honestly, that’s probably a bit naive.  Certainly its not the main thing they’ll be focusing on, but it could have some *small* impact.  It’s been pointed out multiple times that thinking the SCOTUS judges are perfectly objective machines is not realistic.  Not saying the name recognition of the lawyers will be main issue, but it could have some small impact.

  3. 0
    black manta says:

    If there was anything that would have helped California convey to the court how serious they were about this issue and that would have helped it stand a chance, it was having their very own Attorney General stand before them to make the case personally.  However, since Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown won’t be there as he is campaigning (and will probably fail…again) and having some other guy nobody’s really heard of instead, their argument won’t come across as strong as it would have otherwise.  Again, just goes to show what the state’s priorities are.

    It sounds like the stakes on this really are far higher than we realized.  And that this may indeed be the final word on not just video game violence, but ALL depictons of violence in media.  I relly hope, then, for a favorable outcome.  I think however that since they know that this really is a piece of "feel-good" legislation, and that those types of laws ultimately do nothing, that they may have already made their minds up and will reaffirm the lower court rulings

  4. 0
    Zerodash says:

    This wait is killing me.  To me, for videogames to lose First Amendment protection is basically a death sentence to the entire medium, as I will not abide a situation where the only games are designed for children in mind.   This court decision had better come fast so I can determine if I need a new hobby or not.

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