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Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association

Court Type: U.S. Supreme Court
Status: Closed (Judgment)
Last Update: September 15, 2010

What's at Stake

Whether a California law prohibiting the sale of "violent video games" to minors violates the First Amendment.

California has enacted a law banning the sale of “violent video games” to minors. Like every other similar law around the nation, it was struck down as unconstitutional by a federal appeals court. In an amicus brief supporting that decision, the ACLU argues that the statute is pointless if it does not reach on-line sales and game playing, and overbroad if it does since the statutory prohibition would then effectively apply to adults as well as children. In addition, the ACLU brief argues that the statute’s attempt to define “violent video games” by analogy to obscenity is vague, unenforceable, and unconstitutional.

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