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fullmetal84 05-29-2007 11:29 AM

Unconstitutional game laws
I was just curious to see what everyone thought about the numerous video game laws being passed and then found to be unconstitutional, especially after the news of Illinois raiding the welfare budget to pay the ESA their $1 million court costs.

I personally think all of these laws are stupid, especially after they have been turned down in multiple states. Even my home state, Louisiana, jumped on the bandwagon with a bill co-written by the bane of our existence himself, Jack Thompson. Now, seriously, how much sense does it make to try and pass a law that had already been deemed unconstitutional in at least 3 other states beforehand, while you're trying to rebuild the state after two major hurricanes destroyed the state. It was very, very idiotic to unnecessarily waste our state's money.

Just let me know how everyone feels on this subject.

-Jon Manafi

ronnoc10 05-29-2007 03:54 PM

Could you drop a link or two? I don't anything about these unconstitutional laws...

MattP 05-30-2007 06:58 AM


Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) spent a million dollars on his failed 2005 effort to legislate violent video games, according to Quad Cities Online.

The amount spent was uncovered by an Illinois House committee earlier this week. Accoring to QCO:

" The governor raided funds throughout state government to pay for the litigation. Some of the areas money was taken from included the public health department, the state’s welfare agency and even the economic development department."

Rep. Jack Franks (D) said:

" We had a strong suspicion that the governor was using funds appropriated by the General Assembly as his own personal piggy bank."

Added David Vite, head of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association:

" It’s unfortunate that the state of Illinois spent taxpayer money defending this statute. This [constitutional defeat] is precisely what we told them would happen."

University of Illinois at Springfield Charles Wheeler III said:

" In most people’s minds, the legislation was unconstitutional and it was clear it wasn’t going anywhere."

GP: We should clarify that the amount Illinois owed to the video game industry in legal fees was $510,000. We assume that the balance of the million bucks relates to legal costs Illinois incurred in unsuccessfully defending against the industry’s First Amendment challenge.

UPDATE: The Chicago Tribune confirms that the million bucks represent legal costs paid to both sides. That is, Illinois had to pay its own lawyers as well as reimbursing the industry for its legal costs.

As GamePolitics reported back on September 14th, 2005, Illinois hired a partner from Chicago law firm Hogan-Marren to defend against the video game industry’s constitutional challenge to the law.

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