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Monday, June 27, 2011

Supreme Court Shoots Down State Ban on Violent Videogames

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Keep shooting, kids
  • Keep shooting, kids

Kids can continue to legally play ultraviolent videogames after the Supreme Court ruled this morning that California cannot restrict kids from buying or renting the shooting games. 

The court voted 7-2 that such a ban, which was spearheaded by Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), is unconstitutional and would violate freedom of speech rights protected under the First Amendment. More than 46 million households have videogame systems, bringing in some $18 billion annually, according to media outlets.

"Even where the protection of children is the object, the constitutional limits on governmental action apply," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the ruling.

This is a major defeat for Gov. Jerry Brown, who had defended the law signed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has made violent movies of his own, starring as the Terminator.

Under the law, violent videogames could no longer be sold or rented to customers under 18. Lawmakers defined "violent" as activity involving the "killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being." They named specific games such as Postal 2, where the player continuously punches a woman in the face with a shovel until she is decapitated.

Yee, who is running for San Francisco mayor, is expected to hold a press conference this morning to respond to the ruling. However, Yee was quick to criticize it, issuing the following statement: "Unfortunately, the majority of the Supreme Court once again put the interests of corporate America before the interests of our children."

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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