Judge Trashes Louisiana Govt. Over Failed Jack Thompson Law, Orders State to Pay Legal Fees

April 16, 2007 -
The U.S. District Court Judge who ruled that Louisiana's Jack Thompson-authored 2006 video game law was unconstitutional has ordered the state to pay the video game industry's legal fees, to the tune of $92,000.

In his ruling, Judge James Brady (left) issued a blistering criticism of the Louisiana legislative process which led to the passage of the law:
The court is dumbfounded that the attorney general and the state are in the position of having to pay taxpayer money as attorneys fees and costs in this lawsuit. The act which this court found unconstitutional passed through committees in both the State House and Senate, and to be promptly signed by the Governor.

There are lawyers at each stage of this process. Some of the members of these committees are themselves lawyers. Presumably, they have staff members who are attorneys as well. The State House and Senate certainly have staff members who are attorneys. The governor has additional attorneys -  the executive counsel.

Prior to the passage of the Act there were a number of reported cases from a number of jurisdictions which held similar statutes to be unconstitutional (and in which the defendant was ordered to pay substantial attorney's fees). The Court wonders why nobody objected to the enactment of this statute. In this court's view the taxpayers deserve more from their elected officials.

Despite Judge Brady's surprisingly frank repudiation of both the video game law and the process that led to its passage, bill sponsor Rep. Roy Burrell (D) told Acadiana TV station KATC-3 he may try to pass another such bill in the future.

GamePolitics has the most complete coverage of the volatile Louisiana video game situation available anywhere.

Comments

@Rammsoldat

of course he'll "find" a link. all college kids are nothing but drunks who play those awful murder/rape/satanist/voteDemocrat/punchababy/converttoIslam simulators.

duh!

I wouldn't be too harsh on the politicians- they often end up between a rock and a hard place with these kinds of things. If you oppose such a bill (even if you believe in it, but know it won't fly), the religious zealots and soccer moms will label you a pro-porn sicko who wants to harm children.

To quote Benjamin Franklin: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

Accordingly, both JT and Rep. Roy Burrell should be institutionalized to protect the nation from future harm.

I'd like to see some major press outlet pick up on this and challenge Burrell to explain why they're spending money on defending a statute that had little to no chance of surviving a legal challenge when New Orleans and other parts of his state still need help to recover after Katrina.

It's pretty disgraceful that they'd flush so many hundreds of thousands of dollars on this bill - and then go on to plan another! - when there are so many, more worthwhile, projects that the money could be used on, especially in Louisiana.

*Some authority

OH SNAP! :)

I just had this vision of Judge Brady stopping for a second, grabbing some bits of card from behind the bench, and handing it to the state reps, going "here's your sign". :D

I agree with VioletSon. The politicians will argue that the $92,000 was "worth it" to "try to save the children"... Horray for spin...
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

I'm hearing Jack was on CNN, too.

Is anyone shocked? That exploitationist monster was probably rubbing his grubby hands as soon as he heard the news. He's probably already trying to find out anything he can about the victim's families so he can "grieve with them," and leave them with a business card at the same time.

Well that's several more Katrina-ravaged Louisiana homes that could could have been rebuilt, but instead, politicians decided to spend the money chasing after bogeymen in the interest of "protecting the children."

My greatest fear for America is that one day these worthless windmill-jousting leaders will infiltrate the judiciary branch of government, then our nation is DOOMED.

RAPED :)

92,000, rofl.

that's awesome.

If we could pan the camera down, we could see Brady's foot on JT's crotch.

@gameclucks:

It's a concern, but probably not as bad as you think. The advantage we have is that the laws bozos like Burrell are trying to pass are so blatantly unconstitutional that it's not even a question of whether it should be struck down. Any judge, whether he/she personally agrees with the legislation or not, would be EXTREMELY hard-pressed to let it go through and still keep their seat. It'd be totally obvious that they weren't impartial, and besides, said ruling would probably get wiped out via appeal anyway.

Agreed, that law was just to make the folks 'back home' feel warm and fuzzy about their vote and less about actually doing anything, except perhaps giving JT some air time he didn't need. To say this was a big waste of taxpayer's money would be an understatement, and I can only hope that the voters will pay attention to this stuff and hold these guys responsible for wasting it.

2 words Mr. Brady - "Political Agenda". They knew this would happen, they just didn't care. Good job for undermining their position though, just a shame your words won't be heard above the idiots passing the bills and those cheering them on (read NIMF and other such organisations).

Still, it's always nice to hear a voice of reason and from someone of come authority.

I hope that the industry extracts money from California in the future for the same reason. Leland Yee (and Schwarzenegger to a lesser extent) needs a PERMANENT lesson in how the US Constitution works.

Activist Legislators: Children and Video Games -- Yet Again...

As I have noted repeatedly on this blog, every single effort to regulate the sale of video games to minors has (correctly) been struck down by courts. Every single time.

Which of course is not stopping New York's activist governor, Eliot S......

[...] It will also be difficult to pass this law and, then, keep the law on the books.  Louisiana just lost such a case.  In fact, the judge berated the state for not paying attention to what has happened to similar laws in other states.  Still, the group said they were not deterred and that they were going to try again, wasting millions of dollars more on something that most stores already voluntarily do. [...]

[...] You don’t? Don’t worry, Mayer Menino does and that’s all that matters for the nation. It should also come as no surprise that Jack Thompson helped with drafting bill HB1423. The bill resembles the Louisiana one that got shot down in court last year. Maybe the violent video game opponents haven’t played enough games when they were kids themselves. Guys, there’s no reason to die two times in a row on the same place, you can only lose XP! [...]

[...] Perhaps having a U.S. District Court judge tear apart the Louisiana video game law he wrote on First Amendment grounds somehow qualifies him, in Fox’s view. [...]

[...] I could go on forever about this shit, but I’m going to wrap things up here. I’d like to say that I think it’s great to see prominent figures like Stephen King speak out about things like this. Unless you bring the idiocy of these kinds of things to the forefront, states like: Massachusetts, Arizona, Louisiana, Minnesota, New York, Utah, Kansas and California, are just going to slip them into law without true opposition. And since no one really takes the gaming community seriously, it’s even better to have a non-gamer speak up and say “Hey - I think this is bullshit too”. [...]
 
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