While the cash-strapped US state of California struggles to pay its teachers, it might be regretting trying to carry out an unconstitutional campaign against computer games.
Six years ago Californian politicans tried to protect the precious snowflakes of California with a law against computer games which showed murder and other violence.
Even after two legal defeats in the lower courts saying that the law was unconstitutional, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown, governor and attorney general at the time, supported appealing to the US Supreme Court.
It seems that Schwarzenegger thought while his movies were allowed to be violent, the idea of a kid playing a computer game was not something he wanted to see. California’s law sought to crack down on kid’s purchases of video games that allow them to re-enact killings at Columbine High School, to rape women, gun down minority groups or assassinate President John Kennedy. Because they would never learn this behavior from anywhere else. Kennedy was killed before computer games and the last people to gun down minority groups were the Californian police.
Not surprisingly, the Supreme Court laughed the appeal out of court which left the state to pick up the video-game industry’s legal costs, which were $2 million, according to the College Times.
The law was rubbish anyway. It never kept any child from playing a video game because a judge blocked its implementation in 2005.
The Supreme Court ruled that violent video games are a form of free speech and that barring their sale is a violation of the First Amendment.
One judge pointed out that the United States has no history of protecting children from depictions of violence. Cinderella’s evil stepsisters have their eyes picked out by doves and Hansel and Gretel kill their captor by baking her in the oven.
Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association said that the State needed to better assess fiscal risk when voting on legislation certain to be challenged as unconstitutional.
Everyone warned the state that it was getting itself into a big legal mess, and it would end up having to pay attorney fees, and that’s exactly what happened, he said.