The Supreme Court of the United States (SCotUS) has ruled in the Californian bill that sought to ban the sale of video games deemed 'inappropriate' for sale to kids. The court has thrown out the proposed law.
The court document states:
"Respondents, representing the video-game and software industries, filed a preenforcement challenge to a California law that restricts the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. The Federal District Court concluded that the Act violated the First Amendment and permanently enjoined its enforcement."The Ruling
states that SCotUS held that:
"Held: The Act does not comport with the First Amendment.
"(a) Video games qualify for First Amendment protection. Like protected books, plays, and movies, they communicate ideas through familiar literary devices and features distinctive to the medium. And 'the basic principles of freedom of speech . . . do not vary? with a new and different communication medium.'"
Tellingly, the judgement calls the state of California on hypocrisy:
"Of course, California has (wisely) declined to restrict Saturday morning cartoons, the sale of games rated for young children, or the distribution of pictures of guns.
"The consequence is that its regulation is wildly underinclusive when judged against its asserted justification, which in our view is alone enough to defeat it.
"Underinclusiveness raises serious doubts about whether the government is in fact pursuing the interest it invokes, rather than disfavoring a particular speaker or viewpoint."
The following judges filed upheld the appeal by the ESRB among others against the banning order:
Justice Scalia, Justice Kennedy, Justice Ginsburg, Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan. Justice Alito concurred with the finding. Justices Roberts, Thomas and Breyer dissented.
It's a lengthy ruling (that can be found in full here