Oral argument: Nov. 2, 2010
Appealed from: United States Courts of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Feb. 20, 2009)
FIRST AMENDMENT, MINORS, VIDEO GAMES
California enacted California Civil Code §§ 1746–1746.5, which imposed restrictions on the sale of violent video games to minors. The Entertainment Merchants Association and the Entertainment Software Association sought declaratory relief in federal court, alleging that the law was an impermissible restriction of speech in violation of the First Amendment. The district court and the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of Entertainment Merchants. California appealed, asserting that the First Amendment does not protect the sale of violent video games to minors and that California need not show a direct causal link between violent video games and physical or psychological harm in minors before restricting such sales. The Supreme Court's decision will affect minors' constitutional rights, the power of states to control which materials children are exposed to, and the expression in media with violent content.