Utah A.G. Tells Legislature to Wait For Oklahoma Ruling

January 18, 2007 -

Yesterday GamePolitics reported that video game legislation under consideration in Utah had been shelved while its sponsor, Rep. Scott Wyatt, researches constitutional concerns.

Today's Provo Daily Herald reports that Wyatt had earlier received a binder from the office of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff containing federal court rulings which struck down such laws in a number of states around the country.

Former Rep. David Hogue (left), who sponsored the original, failed version of the bill in 2006, told the newspaper:

This is one of my great passions. There has been a lot of opposition from the industry, and the Attorney General is twisting (Wyatt's) arm.


For his part, Wyatt said he did not wish to re-introduce the bill unless he felt the constitutional issues could be addressed:

If it passes, there will be a lawsuit.


In that case, Wyatt expects the federal district and circuit courts to strike down the video game legislation, but said he "does not know how the Supreme Court will rule." Citing nine previous federal court decisions in favor of the video game industry, A.G. Shurtleff said:

In every case, (the industry was) awarded six-figure attorneys fees. There are things you can do to educate parents and use the existing rating system.

Shurtleff, who has publicly come out in support of the ESRB system, recommended that Utah lawmakers await a final ruling on Oklahoma's video game law. Federal District Court Judge Robin Cauthron issued a preliminary injunction in October which blocks the Oklahoma law from being implemented while she considers her final decision. Shurtleff advised lawmakers to let Oklahoma spend its tax dollars fighting the constitutional issues.

 

 


Comments

@Mr. Blond

Sometimes bills can stay in that state indefinately and die under mountains of paper work. Good way to cover up a whoops like that is to forget and pretend it never happened.

@Konstruct:
You might be getting bills confused with laws. Its pretty common for bills (unpassed laws) to get tabled without ever being voted upon, etc when their sponsors realize they arent going to pass, etc, but once a law is passed and somebody challenges it (and the courts take up the case), then the courts pretty much will eventually rule on it. A court cant have open cases that they just forget about and die without a ruling (i think?), even of one side is just going ot conceed the point (prob not happen in the CA case), then the court needs to issue a rulign saying that one party prevails and then settling issues like resitution, etc. I expct the court int he CA case is just dragging their feet on the issue for no good reason, have they even had a formal hearing on the permanent injunction yet? Once they have that, im sure they will rule in favour of the game industry fairly quickly afterwards.

So what about California? That bill still has to be defeated for good. It only has a preliminary injunction at this point.

I think this means that with mounting losses, states are starting to listen to Jack Thompson a little less. This is very good that people are starting to doubt Jack Thompson and he is losing the war against violent video games. This a truly great day for Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games. The video game industry is going to win this war. A few more rulings in favor of the video game industry and politicians will find something else to attack.

Actually, they are attacking it because of the fact that they want to reduce violence and violent video games don't even make people violent. What they should do, if they want to reduce violence in society, is go after gun control laws. They should be trying to put gun control laws in place to make it illegal for private citizens to own guns. GUNS KILL PEOPLE NOT VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES. I've heard that many violent video games come from Japan and in Japan it's illegal for citizens to own guns. I've also heard that people almost never shoot anyone in Japan because they're not suppose to have guns. Thos are the laws that we should have here in America. Go after the real problem, not violent video games.

While I'm glad Shurtleff is telling Utah politicians to hold back until it's clear what happens to the Oklahoma's bill, I can't help but worry that even after OK's struck down (as it inevitably will be) Hogue will push for the bill to go through anyway.

With a bit of luck, Wyatt will have the common sense to save the six-figure legal fees and put it towards an education campaign that actually does something other than waste money.

Figures that hogue would say someone's arm is being twisted to remove a bill. I bet Jack, the guy ho wrote it is thinking the same thing.

cant they pass something decent. Wyatt sonds like those sceaming polticians

Humans were killing each other with there fists and with long metal rods forged in a fashion that made them stronger and allowed them to be sharpened.

On the issue of gun control: I don't own and doubt I ever will own a gun, but gun control is not the answer. I understand the issue reasonably well, and the problem is that more gun laws are going to generally keep firearms out of the hands of responsible, law-abiding people but not do much for the ones already getting their guns illegally.
The parallels to the video game debate are somewhat eerie, now that I think about it. Banning guns or banning video games - both might be of some small benefit in keeping them out of that dangerous 0.005% of the population, but is that benefit worth trampling all over the rights of the remaining 99.995% of the population that doesn't do stupid things?
In short - video game legislation alone wouldn't have prevented Columbine. And increased gun control alone also wouldn't have prevented it.

Daniel, that last post of yours was such a gross oversimplification that I don't even want to address it. Just give it a rest, why don't you?

@ Brokenscope

I realize that this is off topic, but all I'm saying is that Erci Harris, Dylan Klebold and Micheal Carneal killed people with guns not video games. If guns are gotten rid of, then future people, who are as disturbed as they were, won't be able to kill anyone and the video game industry won't be used as a scapegoat.

Daniel this is not the place or the time. Drop it. Bring it up if an article directly brings gun control into the equation, otherwise leave it alone.

Hogue should realize that the fact that Wyatt is smart enough not to push through an unconstitutional bill may be the reason he still has a job and Hogue doesn't.

@Daniel:

Stop going off topic, please. Gun control has nothing to do with this.

Daniel.

Do not bring up gun control. Do not bring up gun control.
Just to make myself clear

DO NOT BRING UP GUN CONTROL.

Its a touchy subject, just as religion is.



It is a good thing that the AG is willing to bring up education. Hopefully something we will see more of in the future. Hopefully.

@ Brokenscope and hayabusa75

Actually, I think that gun control would make this whole anti-game issue go away because if people don't have guns, they can't kill very easily and video games will stop being used as scapegoats. I think that to end violence, guns have to be gotten rid of. Attacking images on a screen is ridiculous because that has nothing to do with the real problem. How is that off topic? Politicians want to decrease violence, they should get rid of guns.

@Blitz

It's a concession to the bill supporters. He can't turf it altogether, or they get mad. So he gives them a compromise "at least wait to see how OK turns out, since we based this heavily on their version". Bill gets delayed, and the supporters sit warm and fuzzy in the belief that OK will pass and their bill will be fine.

The sh*t storm will be when OK's copy gets chucked, Because then some idiot in Utah will actually have the gall to go "but maybe it will work here"...
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

I'm kind of curious about the 'wait on OK' plan. Even if we are to assume that the Oklahoma bill passes to it's full extent (and isn't somehow neutered by a judge), why is it that this one bill weighs more than all the others? I thought the writing on this bill was more similar to two others that were already sunk?!

I read everyone's comments and it had me thinking, banning video games won't decrese violence in the country, there's still other forms of media that contan violence. And banning citizens from owing their own guns won't decrese violence, there are more than one way to kill a person. I do believe that there should be some type of restriction of M games you know like when store owners ask for ID when you go buy some smokes, and that's being done here where I live. I think that's better than banning video games out right or putting them in the same catigory as porn. And to Daniel in response for law enforcement in Japan allowed to carry guns and not citizens; that law dates back to the Meji era when no one except law enforcement could carry swords. Now in this century, guns have replaced swords. Off topic I know but something intresting I thought I would share.
 
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