The United States Supreme Court has set a date to hear out the State of California’s appeal to preserve their 2005 law that addresses the sale of games to minors. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger backs the law and his side will face off against the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) when they appear November 2.
The Court’s ruling on Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association will address the “constitutionality of [California’s] ban on [the] sale or rental of violent video games to minors,” according to the schedule posted on SCOTUSblog.
The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) will be submitting “a brief on behalf of American digital entertainment consumers and will be attaching the gamer petition,” as they believe the law to be vaguely worded and a threat to free speech in the games industry.
Lower courts have already called the law unconstitutional, but this is the last stop in the U.S. appeals system, so both sides will want to make their day count. Governor Schwarzenegger wants hefty penalties for retailers who sell violent video games to minors or fail to have their wares properly labeled. The real kicker comes in this time around because a Supreme Court ruling here may effectively decide whether free speech rights apply to video games in the U.S. A lot of developers out there would obviously like to see Schwarzenegger fail here, but the former Last Action Hero wants to see angry Californian parents left with one less decision when they buy games for their kids.
What do you think of California’s law? Do you think Scwarzenegger will come out on top? Share your predictions in the comment section below.