Over the last five years or so, numerous state legislatures have passed laws banning the sale of violent video games to minors. In every case, the law was stricken down as unconstitutional under the First Amendment. Seemingly undeterred by such minor facts as judicial unanimity about the constitutionality of such legislation, California too passed a law banning the sale of violent video games to anyone under the age of 18. It used words such as “cruel” and “depraved” to define what was “violent.” And just like every court of appeal that had considered similar laws from other states, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal struck down California’s law without hesitation.
But on April 26, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review. The Supreme Court’s action has caused a furor because the Supreme Court usually does not review cases where the already-existing appellate case law has been entirely consistent across all jurisdictions. It usually only reviews cases where there is a split among the appellate courts. Here, there is no split. Which raises the obvious question — why does the Supreme Court want to review the California law? Continue reading the full story . . . »