The U.S. Supreme Court by a 7-2 vote today struck down a California law that banned the sale or rental of violent video games to children under the age of 18.
The court majority said the games are protected by the First Amendment right of free speech.
Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, “Like protected books, plays and movies that preceded them, video games communicate ideas–and even social messages.
“That suffices to confer First Amendment protection,” Scalia wrote.
The court ruled in a lawsuit filed in federal court in San Jose in 2005 by two industry groups, the Entertainment Merchants Association and the Entertainment Software Association.
The high court upheld rulings by U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte of San Jose in 2007 and the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in San Francisco in 2009 that struck down the law.
The 2005 law was authored by state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, who was then an assemblyman. It was blocked from going into effect by an injunction issued by Whyte.
Julia Cheever, Bay City News