Utah Politician Gives Up on Video Game Legislation

In response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to strike down the 2005 California law regulating violent video games, one Utah lawmaker says that he will not pursue a similar law he tried to pass in 2008. Rep. Michael Morley, (R-Spanish Fork, Utah) told the Deseret News that he felt his bill was very different from the California law that was struck down on Monday.

For one, the bill did not impose a fine on retailers who sold mature-rated games to children, but did give parents the power to file a lawsuit against the offending business. The bill would allow parents to sue under a claim of false advertising. While the 2008 video game bill passed with broad support in both houses, former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. vetoed the bill. Former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff backed the governor’s position at the time. Both expressed concern over the impact to local businesses and free speech rights.

While Morley defended his bill, he did say that he would not pursue trying to push for future laws that tackle videogame sales. Morley also said that his bill would have been deemed constitutional by the courts, but that ship has sailed.

"It’s not on my radar to fight that fight," he said.

Meanwhile, lawmakers and the Eagle Forum of Utah blasted the Attorney General, who supported the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday. The Eagle Forum said that the AG failed to protect Utah’s children from violent games.

Shurtleff countered that any form of government intervention into the private lives of citizens should be considered with care. He also encouraged parents to take an active role in their media their kids consume.

"To say that he’s anti-family, that’s just ignorant," said Scott Troxel, spokesman for the attorney general. Troxel said protecting children has been the focus of Shurtleff’s administration.

Source: Deseret News

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