Capitol Hill

November 3, 2010

Supreme Court Split on California Video Game Law

The Supreme Court appears to be split on the California Videogame law that forbids the sale of game to children under 18 that depict scenes of gratuitous violence, sex and torture. 

“”Why isn’t it common sense,” said Justice Stephen G. Breyer, that if the law can forbid selling pictures of a “naked woman” to a young teen, it can also forbid the sale of scenes “of gratuitous torture of children” in a video game?

 Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. agreed, citing scenes from the game Postal 2 in which girls are smashed in the face with a shovel and their bodies set on fire.

“We don’t have a tradition in this country” of exposing children to that kind of graphic violence, he said. But in a case that seemed to break the usual liberal-conservative alliances, Justice Antonin Scaliaclashed with Roberts and Breyer and argued that the 1st Amendment’s protection for freedom of speech has never been applied to restrict violence in the media. 

“The same argument could have been made when movies came out that exposing children to violence would harm them”, he told a lawyer for California.”

This case has been circling around Washington for some time now.  This case, in my opinion, represents a huge land mark in free speech.  I should state that I think it is very important to shelter our children from this type of material.  I don’t think 0 -16 year old should be exposed to extreme amounts of gore, sex and violence.  However, I believe that it is the responsibility of the parents to make sure their children are protected from this NOT the governments.   This case most likely won’t be decided for another couple of months. 

What do you guys think?  Do you think it is the governments responsibility to step in where parents are obviously failing?  Is it the governments right? 

Quotes taken from LA Times.

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