Federal appeals court rules Minnesota violent video game law unconstitutional

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on Monday upheld [PDF text] a lower court decision blocking a Minnesota law [text; JURIST news archive] imposing fines on minors who purchase adult-rated video games. A US district judge had blocked [JURIST report] the law that would impose a $25 fine on people under 17 found buying or renting mature or adult-rated video games. The Entertainment Software Association [trade website] had argued [press release] that the law violated the First Amendment [text] rights of consumers, while Minnesota argued that children do not have a First Amendment right to violent games. The court found that violence in video games was constitutionally protected:

Indeed, a good deal of the Bible portrays scenes of violence, and one would be hard-pressed to hold up as a proper role model the regicidal Macbeth. Although some might say that it is risible to compare the violence depicted in the examples offered by the State to that described in classical literature, such violence has been deemed by our court worthy of First Amendment protection, and there the matter stands.
CNET News has more.

Judges have struck down or delayed similar laws in California, Illinois, Louisiana and Michigan [JURIST reports]. Massachusetts is set to consider a similar bill [text] restricting sales of video games to minors.


 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.