An Illinois law barring the sale of sexually explicit video games to minors is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court said, setting aside the possibility of $1,000 fines for retailers.
The ruling Monday upheld a lower court decision barring enforcement of the law signed last year by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago held that the law violated free speech protections under the First Amendment.
History has shown "the dangers of giving too much censorship power to the state over materials intended for young persons," U.S. Circuit Judge Ann Claire Williams wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel. The suit was filed by the Entertainment Software Association, a Washington-based industry lobbying group.
Illinois officials can appeal the decision to the entire U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court.