Although proponents thought the Louisiana anti-video game law would receive a warmer reception from the court system, it seems Federal Judge James Brady doesn’t see any real difference between the law drafted in part by Jack Thompson and all the others shot down by the courts to date.
Brady has extended his suspension of allowing enforcement of the new law that seeks to ban some (just about every) video games for sale to minors. He’s even questioned the lawyers who are defending the proposed law on how exactly they think it doesn’t violate freedom of speech.
At issue is a law drafted by Thompson and passed unanimously in Louisiana’s legislature. The law seeks to make it illegal to sell, rent or lease a game to a kid if it appeals to a minor’s “morbid” interest in violence, depicts violence in a manner that’s offensive to the standards of the adult community, or if a game lacks literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors. In general, the witch hunting law seeks to ban just about every video game on the market.
The Entertainment Software Association and the Entertainment Merchants Association instantly dragged the state into court upon Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s signing of the bill, despite some lawyers’ feelings the law could not be challenged.
During a June 30 hearing, Brady, according to the Shreveport Times, said he failed to see how the new law didn’t violate freedom of speech and he also was at a loss to say how it really differed from others that have been turned over by the federal courts in the past.
Brady told those present at the hearing he thought the violence in games is “horrible, but it’s protected. Whether we like it or not, violence is protected." The judge is expected to rule sometime this coming week on whether to grant a temporary injunction against enforcing the law.
Interesting to note is the fact that the state’s assistant attorney general, Burton Guidry, has vowed to fight the issue up to the Supreme Court. It seems Louisiana is willing to write a blank check for this issue, but not for hurricane recovery and future preparedness. Amazing.
However, it would be nice for someone to actually bring the issue all the way to the Supreme Court and get it over with once and for all.