As a September deadline looms for submitting amicus briefs in the Schwarzenegger v. EMA Supreme Court case, both sides are still hard at work recruiting advocates.
In an excellent Law.com story on the subject, a few claims and quotes jump out, including a comment from Activision Blizzard EVP and Chief Public Policy Officer George Rose, who said, “We wouldn't be surprised if the number [of states siding with the industry] was equal or exceeded the number backing California.”
Meanwhile both California Supervising Deputy Attorney General Zackery Morazzini, who will argue California’s side on November 2, and Louisiana Department of Justice Appellate Chief S. Kyle Duncan, who authored the brief for states backing the California law, seem to think that Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff “is taking the lead in drafting a brief supporting the industry and discussing it with AGs of other states.”
Despite the thinking of Morazzini and Duncan, Shurtleff still has yet to publically commit to a side. It was reported that in addition to First Amendment concerns, an additional Shurtleff peeve with the law revolves around “government intervention when parents should be monitoring their children's video game use and preventing them from playing games with sex and violence.”
Duncan also alluded to the “intense lobbying” of states by the game industry.
Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch is also, apparently, still on the fence about joining a side’s brief. A spokesman for Lynch stated, “Whatever decision he makes on this sign-on letter will be based on the merits of the issue.”
It was reported that “people affiliated with the ESA contributed about $2,500 to Lynch's campaigns for Rhode Island attorney general and for the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial nomination,” so perhaps that bodes well for the game industry team.
Common Sense Media CEO James Steyer discussed some of the problems he faced when attempting to get a law firm to pen an amicus brief in support of the law, saying that “they all had a conflict because they represented the entertainment industry. He eventually settled on Columbia Law School professor Theodore Shaw.
Jenner & Block Appellate Chair Paul Smith will be arguing the game industry side on November 2.