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U.S. Supreme Court Rejects California Video Game Law

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By Tanya Roth, Esq. on June 27, 2011 4:07 PM

The verdict is in on the California video game law. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 7-2 vote on the video game issue, reports Reuters, ruling the video game ban as unconstitutional.

The California law restricted the sale of violent video games to minors. California video vendors brought suit against the state of California alleging that the law violated freedom of speech under the First Amendment.

In the last blog post, we discussed the California video game case as it came before the U.S. Supreme Court and the oral arguments in the case.

Some arguments by the opponents of the California video game law centered around the fact that video games weren't the only medium that disseminated violence among children.

In support of the law, the California government offered statistics and research showing the negative effect of violent video games on children.

But most importantly, what did the U.S. Supreme Court have to say about the video game ban?

According to SCOTUS, the California video game law ran afoul of the First Amendment and violated free speech. In the majority opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that there was no culture in the United States of restricting children's access to depictions of violence, reports Reuters.

In support of his statement, Justice Scalia mentioned children's fairy tales, citing Snow White and her poisoning by the evil queen. Parents, he said, not government, should restrict which games children should buy.

In dissent, Justices Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer agreed with Parents Television Council president Tim Winter, who said that the ruling was replacing the authority of parents with the "economic interests of the video game industry."

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