WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California law that prevented children from renting or purchasing violent video games.
Today’s 7-2 court decision was made on First Amendment grounds.
“No doubt a state possesses legitimate power to protect children from harm,” wrote Justice Antonin Scalia in the court’s majority opinion. “But that does not include a free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed.”
“When it comes to parenting, government agencies and regulations are simply no substitute for the watchful eyes of moms and dads. To do otherwise would create a chilling effect on all forms of media,” stated John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “We are also glad to see that the First Amendment’s prohibition on censorship is still alive.”
Under the California law, retailers would have been fined up to $1,000 for each sale or rental of a violent video game to anyone under 18.
The court’s ruling is available online at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/08-1448.pdf
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