The Supreme Court sided with the video game industry today, declaring a victor in the six-year legal match between the industry and the California lawmakers who wanted to make it a crime for anyone in the state to sell extremely violent games to kids.
In a 7-2 ruling Justice Antonin Scalia said the law does not comport with the First Amendment. He was joined by Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts, who had seemed sympathetic to California's concerns last year. Justices Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer, traditionally members of the court's right and left wings, respectively, joined in dissent. [Read the full decision - PDF link.]
This story will be updated throughout the day .
The case was The State of California vs. The Entertainment Merchants Association and the Entertainment Software Association. That last party, the ESA, is the gaming industry. The trade group puts on the annual E3 video game showcase, the gaming business' biggest news event each year. The ESA's lawyers argued against the state of California's on Election Day last year, trying to convince the court that video games deserve the same breadth of First Amendment protections as books and movies. The decision, revealed today, was the first time the Supreme Court has weighed in on video games in any fashion.