U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan recently attended the Aspen Institute’s McCloskey Speaker Series, in Aspen Colorado. During a conversation with moderator Elliot Gerson, Kagan reflected on her experiences as a new Justice, the misconception that Justices don't like each other and the case she found the most difficult to rule on during this term. It turns out that the case she is referring to as most difficult was Brown v. EMA, commonly referred to as the California Violent Video Game Law."
Kagan told Gerson that this case was particularly difficult for her because she could see merit on both sides of the legal battle:
"It was the case where I struggled most and thought most often I’m on the wrong side of it," she said. "You could see why the government would have wanted to do this and you can see the kind of danger it was worried about, the kind of effects these extremely violent video games have on young people."
Kagan said that it was easy to see what the State was trying to do and by all accounts it seemed like a reasonable effort. Her problem was with its constitutionality at the end of the day:
"But I couldn’t figure out how to square that with our First Amendment precedence and precedence is very important to me," she said about her vote to invalidate the law. "I sweated over that mightily."
Kagan highlighted the court’s position on the First Amendment and how it has been "extremely protective" of free speech:
"I think what you have to say, and people have been saying this, is this is a court that is extremely protective of the First Amendment and extremely protective of speech," she said. "There is no question the court has a very expansive view of the First Amendment."
You can read more of Kagan's comments on Aspen Daily News.