Attorney Forecasts Supreme Court Decision, Wonders Why It Granted Cert

Over at Gamasutra, Attorney Greg Boyd has composed a detailed look at the California law at the center of Schwarzenegger v. EMA.  After a brief history lesson concerning what the law says and where it’s been over the last few years, Boyd speculates about how the Supreme Court may eventually rule.

“It would be surprising to the legal community if this case went against all the prior similar cases on content-based regulation. The consensus expectation is that this case will fit with the other state cases on this issue (and the two lower court decisions in California). The preliminary injunction will likely be upheld and the statute will likely be held unconstitutional.”

As Boyd points out, the Supreme Court typically grants cert for cases that federal courts in different parts of the country are split on.  Of course, as we all know, there is no spit on this issue.  There have been 12 attempts in the last eight years to impose a state-level regulation on video games and each one has failed.  So, with the precedent cases being unanimous, why is the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments for Schwarzenegger v. EMA tomorrow?

“Is it that all of the other courts have gotten it wrong? Perhaps the strict scrutiny standard applied above, and commonly throughout the other content-based regulation cases, is the incorrect standard. Perhaps this is a case of the High Court stepping in to settle the issue in a more final way.

The Court could see that, clearly, the states are not "getting it" with the other cases, and they know this type of legislation has already cost the state taxpayers more than $2 million in reimbursed legal fees.”

Read the whole shebang over at Gamasutra and try not to lose too much sleep over the next few months while the Supreme Court makes its decision.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen

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  1. 0
    Thad says:

    Mmmmaybe.  But as we’ve discussed at length in these comments threads, free speech versus censorship seldom falls under straight liberal-versus-conservative lines.  I still expect a victory for the EMA; Thomas, at least, is reliable on free speech issues, and I expect Kennedy to side with the EMA as well.

  2. 0
    digdug says:

    It could be because this is a court with a new conservative majority, and they want to set a new standard for artistic expression, a more narrow standard, and also give more leeway to states as well.

    That is what you’d expect a conservative majority to do, and this majority is new. So I think looking back at precedent of the past may not be as useful now as it use to be.

  3. 0
    PHX Corp says:

    If SCOTUS Rules in favor of the industry(And I expect it alongside Attorney Greg Boyd(Note I’m not a lawyer, but I do have a hunch we’ll Win)) Hope The Decision is Giftwrapped as an early christmas present

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

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