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Senator Leland Yee Responds to Supreme Court Ruling

Today the Supreme Court of the United States struck down California’s law which would fine retailers for selling violent games to minors. In a 7-2 vote the Supreme Court ruled the Bill unconstitutional and in violation of the First Amendment. Senator Leland Yee issued a statement responding to the ruling saying the Supreme Court put the interests of corporate America before the interests of our children.

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ironwolf3084d ago (Edited 3084d ago )

Gotta love those progressive Democrats. Free speech means nothing. The peasants must be controlled! They're too stupid to make their own decisions or spend their own money!

theherp803084d ago

i thought the progressive democrats were the peasants. BAM!

actually i dont even know what that means, progressive democrats...are you talking about the ones who vote for things like banning happy meals cause they make our kids fat and unhealthy or banning plastic bags cause they ruin the environment. Or something more progressive like legalizing gay marriage.

Note: I live in the bay area and see these things all the time so.....

rrquinta3084d ago (Edited 3084d ago )

I love this quote from Sentator Yee: “Unfortunately, the majority of the Supreme Court once again put the interests of corporate America before the interests of our children.”

Did he even read the official set of opinions? This issue has nothing to do with the "greed" of the gaming industry (although this bill, were it to have been upheld, would have entailed new costs, which would ultimately have been passed on to the consumer), and the Court did not disagree, out right, that children deserved to be protected. Instead, they made the point that this bill was flawed (and thus, unconstitutional) on several (not just one) levels.

For example, the bill specifically calls out violence, something that has never been classified (constitutionally) as unprotected speech, and the legislature doesn't have the constitutional authority to designate a new type of speech as unprotected. That is the entire point behind the first amendment. If the gov't could decide, willy-nilly, that a certain type of speech is not protected, what next? Are we going to start banning any media that depicts homosexuality because some think that is "deviant behavior"? What if a legislature of one party decided to try to ban anyone from speaking against them, or in favor of the other party? I know these examples are a bit hyperbolic, but they illustrate the point that the Court was making in this part of their decision.

The Court further went on to argue that the law is unconstitutional because it seeks to specifically bar minors from video games with violent content, while not addressing violent content in other forms of media; more so, California did not illustrate in a persuasive manner, that video game violence is any more damaging than violence in other media to which children may be exposed.

I've said this several times already; I feel for parents. I know in this day and age it can be really challenging to know what your child is doing at all times, but that doesn't mean you can be "lazy" and let the government do your job for you. There is a reason that the ESRB exists. There is a reason that consoles have parental controls. There is a reason that most stores will card you if you try to buy an M-rated game. Just as plenty of children watch R-rated movies, or read adult books every day, obviously children play M-rated games. But do you know what? A lot of those children who play those games had them purchased BY THEIR PARENTS FOR THEM. No amount of legislation will prevent bad parenting.

frelyler3084d ago

Very well said, you nailed it. It gets me that Mr. Yee is in government, yet he has no idea what the constitution says or protects. What a flipping moron. Then all news channels using Yee's logic should be shut down immediately until a method of deliverance can be figured out that would not allow children to view it. Are there not people starving and jobless out there that could more benefit from Mr. Yee's time, of course I would not want such a moron abdicating anything for me.

AEtherbane3084d ago

It has nothing to do with constitutionality, more it has to due that the bill was a nonstarter due to ambiguity. (Which you do touch on) Yes, because there is no federal or state definition of violence, sexuality etc, legislation that includes these undefined and ambiguous terms stand no chance in court.
Also, to all you people calling out this as a clear Democratic thing trying to invade our liberties to play violent games, remember it is actually the Republicans in Congress and the talk shows on FOX that are leading the race to impede or ban violence video games, we can all name multiple times FOX has called a game a "terrorist training activity" or something that is immoral. Mr. Yee is a fairly moderate Democrat and doen't represent he majority of Democratic lawmakers. I'm being honest here, Republicans wouldn't hesitate a second if a game defamed christianity or portrayed an abortion, or a gay scene. (in fact, the already have, remember Mass Effect?) So just be careful before you make accusations like that.

Jim Hawking3084d ago

Justice Scalia absolutely TORE into these people in his opinion.

God Bless America

Megaton3084d ago

YA! DAMN OBAMA AND STUPID DUMB BLIND LIBERALS TAKING OUR LIBERTIES!

AEtherbane3084d ago

So much political hatred on here. This is hardly the place for it, i personally believe if a kid isn't old enough to play an M rated game, they shouldn't be allowed to, then why even have rating at all. Plus I don't think any of you want to hear 10 year-old screaming on Halo, Call of Duty, or any game for that matter.
Although I don't agree that this is about corporate interests, this is about irresponsible parents ignoring the clear warning that are on every game in the US.

In conclusion--it was a silly lawsuit and rightfully should have been struck down as it was, but the focus is wrong, there should be a ban, or make it harder for young kids to get a hold of games that they clearly aren't old enough or responsible enough to play.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3084d ago
Arcee3084d ago

I am sick of politicians and others using video games, television, movies, music, books etc. as an excuse for lazy parenting. If more parents would actually get off their asses and do their jobs and make sure that children understand what is really right and wrong from what they are seeing, listening to and reading, there would be no need for this kind of bs legislation. But then again I am sure some others would find another reason to introduce crap like this.

Gordo7893084d ago

This guy is completely clueless. I get carded at gamestop when I buy games, and I'm 28 and look it. The system works.

XSquareCircle3084d ago

Sure does work when Jimmy tells his mom to buy GTA4 for his birthday.

RememberThe3573084d ago (Edited 3084d ago )

Then it's moms responsibility to say no. It's not up to everyone else to bare the burden of a few ignorant idiots.

Roper3163084d ago

" Sure does work when Jimmy tells his mom to buy GTA4 for his birthday "

Maybe as a parent that person should look into what their child is asking for for his b-day. Again your point shows the problem as lazy parenting and nothing else.

TheLiztress3084d ago

The mom should be smart enough to know what sort of game GTA4 is and how to look it up if she doesn't.

That's one thing that kills me: Parents who rather let the government and others do the things that they should be doing. My kids play games and I make sure to check the rating/content and such before getting it for them.

Alos883084d ago

All I heard him say was
"Parents can't make their own decisions for their children, we need to make America a nanny state and wrap our children in cotton wool to protect them from reality!"

AllyOmega3084d ago (Edited 3084d ago )

The thing is, what happens when parents cease to be parents? people don't understand what "parenting" means these days, they don't realize that it's not just an option to understand what's happening in today's world, they HAVE to understand, because that is the world that their children live in and that's the world that they need to be guided through. I in no way think that the government should have a foothold in people's personal lives, but were parents responsible, and knew what they were buying for their children, this would never even come up. Thank God I was raised by two loving, intelligent, up to date parents who could tell me why I shouldn't do something instead of demanding that I not do something on the grounds of "because I said so." They taught me that violence is wrong, therefore I do not play gratuitously violent games. That's good parenting. That's the way we should parent, and that's nearly gone because of the ignorance and stupidity of people. I don't care if you're a democrat, republican, liberal or conservative, if you take care of your family, discipline your children, and teach them right from wrong, then you've done a great thing.

Alos883084d ago

You don't play gratuitously violent videogames because violence is wrong? It isn't real. It's not like you are going up to a real person and bashing them in the head; they are violent videogames. I don't understand that sentiment.

AllyOmega3084d ago

@Alos88, I may have worded that wrongly, I was taught that watching gratuitous violence is not a good thing. It may not cause people to go out and become mass murderers, but it surely can't be good for them. For example, I would never let a ten year old play Mortal Kombat, because showing a ten year old something like that can shape their minds to think that something like that is normal, especially at an age of development. We have to show children that gratuitous violence in games or movies is NOT something to mimic. They don't know that unless someone tells them, but nobody ever does. Therefore, when I was younger I avoided playing games that were overtly violent. Even today, I don't play games like God of War of Mortal Kombat. Maybe it's just my taste, but I'd rather be safe than sorry I guess.

wollie3084d ago

Man I love the USA!

if something goes against the right its:
TERRORISM!
SOCIALISM!

if something goes against the left its:
CORPORATIONS!
TEH ENVIROMENTS!

basically what can we use to scare you into doing what we want.

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