Free Speech? Ill. Governor to Appeal Video Game Ruling

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by pegwinn, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. pegwinn
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    pegwinn Top of the Food Chain

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    Any legal beagles wanna help me out? How is this free speech?

    Ill. Governor to Appeal Video Game Ruling

    By CHRISTOPHER WILLS

    Associated Press Writer
    Dec 03 7:12 AM US/Eastern

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Gov. Rod Blagojevich vowed to appeal a federal judge's ruling that shot down a new Illinois law banning the sale of violent or sexual video games to minors. U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kennelly ruled Friday that Illinois' restrictions are unconstitutional and barred the state from enforcing the law.

    The Democratic governor and other supporters of the measure have argued that children were being harmed by exposure to games in which characters go on killing sprees or sexual escapades.

    "This battle is not over," Blagojevich said in a statement. "Parents should be able to expect that their kids will not have access to excessively violent and sexually explicit video games without their permission."

    Kennelly said state officials came "nowhere near" demonstrating that the law passes constitutional muster.

    Opponents had declared the law a restriction on free speech and pointed out that similar laws had been struck down in other states.

    "It's unfortunate that the state of Illinois spent taxpayer money defending this statute. This is precisely what we told them would happen," said David Vite, president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, one of the groups that sued over the law.

    Blagojevich proposed the ban late last year after hearing about the video game "JFK Reloaded," which puts the player in the role of President Kennedy's assassin.

    The measure, which was to go into effect Jan. 1, would have barred stores from selling or renting extremely violent or sexual games to minors and allowed $1,000 fines for violators.

    The judge said that it would interfere with the First Amendment and that there was not a compelling enough reason, such as preventing imminent violence, to allow that.

    "In this country, the state lacks the authority to ban protected speech on the ground that it affects the listener's or observer's thoughts and attitudes," Kennelly wrote.

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  2. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    My typical knee-jerk reaction to video game lawsuits is on the side of the video games, but this is ridiculous. Shouldn't games be held to the same standards as movies?
     

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