Dancing Judge, Gaming Judge (with baggage) Will Hear California Video Game Law Appeal Today

October 29, 2008 -

This morning when the state of California argues before the U.S. 9th Circuit that its 2005 video game law is constitutional, at least one member of the Court's three-judge appeal panel will have some familiarity with games.

As GamePolitics has previously reported, Judge Alex Kozinski at one time penned game reviews for the Wall Street Journal. On a more serious note, Kozinski has also apparently survived a June scandal in which sexually graphic images were found on a personal website which he maintained.

Other panel members include Judge Sydney Thomas and Judge Consuelo Callahan (left). Callahan has been dubbed The Dancin' Queen of the Ninth Circuit thanks to her penchant for beaking into tap routines (GP: You can't make this stuff up.):

A hoofer with a sense of humor, Callahan likes to surprise judicial and legal gatherings by starting discussions about serious topics and ending with a quip about appellate judges who tap dance around issues. She then pulls off her black robe to reveal a sequined costume and tap shoes.

She's been known to hop on a tabletop or in one case on a judicial bench during these special events and do some pretty impressive steps. "I may be the highest ranking tap dancer in federal court," Callahan said with a grin during a recent interview in her chambers in the Sacramento federal court building. "It is fun and it has a certain shock value."

Shock value, indeed. Wouldn't it be fab if Judge Callahan broke out the tap shoes this morning?

Today's hearing will take place at 9:30 am PST at the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. In a press release, State Senator Leland Yee (D), architect of the contested video game law, offered his view:

California’s violent video game law properly seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of interactive, ultra violent video games. Our efforts to assist parents in the fight to keep these harmful video games out of the hands of children should survive Constitutional challenge under all levels of judicial review.
 
Based on an extensive body of peer-reviewed research from leading social scientists and medical associations, we narrowly tailored this law to serve the State’s compelling interest in protecting children. I am hopeful that the 9th Circuit will overturn the lower courts decision and help empower parents with the ultimate decision over whether or not their children play in a world of violence and murder.


Game retailers group the Entertainment Merchants Association, along with game publishers group the ESA, are plaintiffs in the case. The EMA recapped the legal fight surrounding the California law in its own press release - hit the jump for the details.

 

In 2005, the state of California enacted a law to restrict the sale or rental to anyone under the age of 18 of computer and video games that are classified as “violent video games” if the depictions of violence in the games are offensive to the community or if the violence depicted is committed in an “especially heinous, cruel, or depraved” manner. The law was scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2006.

Prior to the law taking effect, the [EMA] and the [ESA] filed suit against California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and others to prevent its enforcement. The plaintiffs asserted that the law’s restriction on the sale or rental of certain violent video games violates their rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution to freedom of expression and equal protection of the laws and is unconstitutionally vague.

In August 2007, a federal district court judge granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and permanently barred enforcement of California’s video game law. In doing so, the judge ruled that video games are protected by the First Amendment, the law is unduly restrictive and uses overly broad definitions, and the state failed to show that the limitations on violent video games would actually protect children.

The state of California appealed the summary judgment ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. As part of that appeal, a three-judge panel of that court will hear arguments by the plaintiffs and the state on the constitutionality of the law.

Comments

Re: Dancing Judge, Gaming Judge (with baggage) Will Hear

Wow, you even managed to get a 'modest proposal' reference in there, that is old-school comedy at its finest.

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Joining the Manhunt 2 rush on the 31st!

Re: Dancing Judge, Gaming Judge (with baggage) Will Hear

Of course it is not McDonalds' fault you cram 3 whoppers down your kid's throat. Whoppers come from Burger King.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Dancing Judge, Gaming Judge (with baggage) Will Hear

It is sad that these laws even get this far.  You'd think the voters would be up in arms about this stuff.  I dunno.  Hopefully there will be a changing of the guard as it goes with the voting generations.

I totally agree with you though.  Personal responsibility need to be reintroduced into American society by repealing all these laws that let people shift the blame. 

"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

Re: Dancing Judge, Gaming Judge (with baggage) Will Hear

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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Re: Dancing Judge, Gaming Judge (with baggage) Will Hear

A "WTF Bomb" just went off in my head. Here's a transcript...

*beeping*

WHAT THE FU...?

*BOOM*

OHHHHHHH!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA... WRIEEEEE-HEE-HEE-HA-HA-HA!!!

My God, Zippy, what have you done?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I AM DOOMED TO HAUNT JACK THOMPSON'S DREAMS UNTIL HIS CRUSADE AGAINST VIDEO GAMES ENDS.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I AM DOOMED TO HAUNT JACK THOMPSON'S DREAMS UNTIL HIS CRUSADE AGAINST VIDEO GAMES ENDS.

Re: Dancing Judge, Gaming Judge (with baggage) Will Hear

Zipp...  I...  We...  Er...  O.o

One = many = we = I...

*head explodes*

"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

Re: Dancing Judge, Gaming Judge (with baggage) Will Hear

Public apathy leads to bureaucracy running out of control, government or societal mangment is bureaucracy by default we can have logical reasonable bureaucracy but without stern rules that send those that break those rules to jail, disbarment from government and its pension and even dare I say before a firing squad.....

We need a firing squad to put the noble class of bureaucrats back in "line".....

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

Patreon

Deviantart

Re: Dancing Judge, Gaming Judge (with baggage) Will Hear

I still consider Schwarzenegger to be a hypocrite. Apparently, when he shoots people, drops them off of cliffs or sets off bombs in crowded travel-areas, that's perfectly acceptable, because it's a movie, but when it's in a Video Game he's suddenly concerned about the 'kiddies'.

He's already got his money and fame, so now, all of a sudden, he develops what can laughably be called a conscience about it all.

Re: Dancing Judge, Gaming Judge (with baggage) Will Hear

Those are machines that Skynet made look like him.

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

Re: Dancing Judge, Gaming Judge (with baggage) Will Hear

Has less to do with a (laughable) conscience and much more to do with covering his political arse.   Oh he is still (and very much) a hypocrite but there is a certain perverse (well preverted anyway) logic to it. 

Re: Dancing Judge, Gaming Judge (with baggage) Will Hear

Maybe Arnold should do to this bill what he did to Sully in Commando

I let him go.....

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Dancing Judge, Gaming Judge (with baggage) Will Hear

Are people that stupid? There is a reason why we have ESRB! If you want to protect your kids than don't buy little johnny GTA for his Birthday. Fuckin aye.


Re: Dancing Judge, Gaming Judge (with baggage) Will Hear

A big hooplah for an unconstitutional law. I'm not surprised.

 
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