Jaffe: Facts Will Impact SCOTUS Decision, Not Petitions

October 21, 2010 -

Eat Sleep Play chief David Jaffe, while appreciating and supporting the “emotion” that has gamers signing petitions and contacting representatives in the face of Schwarzenegger vs. EMA, thinks that such tactics are “pointless and naïve.”

Jaffe view is that the Supreme Court isn’t a democracy and does not rule based on “a vocal majority- let alone a vocal minority like gamers and other media folks.”

Therefore, “none of our views on this will matter one bit” and "... it just seems like a big exercise to make people feel like they are making a difference..."

Jaffe’s full (and unedited) comment (thanks VG247):

While I understand and appreciate and support the emotion and feeling behind gamer's desires to sign petitions and write their representatives to let their views be known on the California games bill in front of the Supreme Court, am I the only who who thinks such efforts are pointless and naive ? The Supreme Court does not rule based on how a vocal majority- let alone a vocal minority like gamers and other media folks- feel about a case in front of them. At best the court will use solid judgement, facts, and president to make a decisions. At worse they will let their own political agendas rule the day. But either way, what do they care what the public thinks? They didn't care that a majority of Americans wanted a recount for the Presidential election in 2000, you think they'll care that 3000, 5000, 10,000, hell even 5 MILLION people sign some petition?

Again, perhaps there is value and I'm missing something but from my view it just seems like a big exercise to make people feel like they are making a difference when- in the end- none of our views on this will matter one bit. The Supreme Court is not a democracy where the people vote on the laws they want enacted.


Comments

Re: Jaffe: Facts Will Impact SCOTUS Decision, Not Petitions

As someone who's helped put together an online petition (and for a much less hopeful cause at that) I can attest to the fact that there's a huge difference between your garden-variety Petition Online arglebargle and the well-crafted piece that the EMA brought out.  It won't affect the facts of the case, but the political sway will linger in the minds of elected officials thinking of trying their own versions of laws like this one.

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Re: Jaffe: Facts Will Impact SCOTUS Decision, Not Petitions

While yes the petition itself is not going to sway the court's ruling, the brief the petition is attached to will as it provides those facts Jaffe says will sway the court's opinion.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Jaffe: Facts Will Impact SCOTUS Decision, Not Petitions

Jaffe kind of misses the point on this.  While a petition may not have any real impact on SCOTUS' final decision, it can at least show them that this law, if upheld, would not operate in a vacuum and that there are real people whom this would affect.  So it does make the issue a bit more tangible for them.

Sadly, however, Jaffe is ultimately right: at the end of the day, this matter is not up for a vote.  It is facts that they will ultimately base their decision on.  Fortunately the facts are on our side, and I expect Jenner & Block to make an eloquent and convincing argument for why this law is unconstitutional and not needed.  Add to that as well that this court is reluctant to carve out new definitions of obscenity and I think the odds for us are fairly good.

That having been said, I will be there at the DC ECA rally, just to make it known that there are those of us who care about this issue.

EDIT: Oh, and that's "precedent," Dave.  Not "president."  Learn to spell!

Re: Jaffe: Facts Will Impact SCOTUS Decision, Not Petitions

I agree.  He's right in that SCOTUS aren't going to consider the protests and rallies much...but they could have influence down the line on other politicians considering similar laws (particularly if SCOTUS upholds the California law).

Looks like Cali might get a Democratic guv...wonder if it would be possible to have the law repealed even if SCOTUS upholds it?

Re: Jaffe: Facts Will Impact SCOTUS Decision, Not Petitions

Considering that the Democratic nominee is the Attorney General and also highly supportive of that piece of shit law, I highly doubt a repeal is likely unless the Republican candidate wins.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra. Hell will stay frozen over for quite a while since the Saints won the Super Bowl.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Jaffe: Facts Will Impact SCOTUS Decision, Not Petitions

Ah, of course, I should have realized that.  Oh well.

Re: Jaffe: Facts Will Impact SCOTUS Decision, Not Petitions

Yeah, in my experience stuff like this doesn't really break down along liberal-versus-conservative, Democratic-versus-Republican lines.  Schwarzenegger's a Republican, but Yee's a Democrat; Orrin Hatch is a Republican but Al Gore is a Democrat (and Strom Thurmond was both); FCC v Pacific was a 5-4 ruling with Stevens and Rehnquist on the same side (though the dissenters were all liberal to moderate).

Basically, you've got "Think of the children!" social conservatives on one side and nanny-state liberals on the other -- just as you've got small-government conservatives on one side and civil rights activist liberals on the other.

At any rate, regardless of who gets elected, governors can't repeal laws -- they can choose not to enforce them, but that's a temporary measure at best.

I still think we stand a pretty good chance on this one as this court has already shown a reluctance to add any new form of restricted speech (in US v Stevens).  Alito (the sole dissenter in that one) is probably a safe guess to vote in California's favor on this one, and I expect Thomas, Ginsberg, and Souter to side with the ESA.  The rest could go either way, but if I were a betting man I'd guess Scalia and Roberts side with California and Kennedy, Sotomayor, and Kagan with the ESA.  So that's my call -- we win this one 6-3.

Re: Jaffe: Facts Will Impact SCOTUS Decision, Not Petitions

I think you meant Breyer, since Souter retired and Sotomayor replaced him.

My call was 6-3 for ESA/EMA also, but with Roberts, Thomas, Kennedy, Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Kagan siding with ESA/EMA and Breyer, Scalia, and Alito siding with California.

Repeals have to go through legislatures the same way the bill being repealed was passed.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra. Hell will stay frozen over for quite a while since the Saints won the Super Bowl.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Jaffe: Facts Will Impact SCOTUS Decision, Not Petitions

Sorry, yes, meant Breyer; apologies for the error.

Still, I think naming 8/9 Supreme Court Justices correctly puts me ahead of most Americans.

(Hell, I bet naming ONE puts me ahead of most Americans.  More's the pity.)

Re: Jaffe: Facts Will Impact SCOTUS Decision, Not Petitions

I believe The entire court(The same way with Us v stevens) May side in our(EMA's) favor this time(Alito may dissent but then again, I believe it would be uniamous in our favor)

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: Jaffe: Facts Will Impact SCOTUS Decision, Not Petitions

We won't get the entire court. At least Scalia has said he would likely uphold such a law based on Ginsberg v. New York. Because this deals with the rights of minors, at least some of the Justices might want to uphold this.

I don't think we'll get Breyer on our side. He's been shown to be the most deferential to the legislature on First Amendment restrictions, including his dissent in ACLU v. Ashcroft. I count Scalia, Alito, and Breyer as siding with California, and the only one I'm definitley calling for the EMA is Ginsburg. We have a good shot at Thomas and Kennedy (I won't declare Kennedy for us because with his position on the court, that is tantamount to declaring victory), Roberts is a tentative possibility (more than Rehnquist would have been), and Sotomayor and Kagan are the jokers in the pack, though I do feel good about them.

 
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