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BROWN v. ENTERTAINMENT MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION

Docket No.: 08-1448
Certiorari Granted: 04/26/10
Argued: November 2, 2010
Decided: 06/27/11

Topics:

Bill of Rights, First Amendment, Obscenity, habeas, habeas corpus, murder, patent

PartyNames: Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Governor of California, et al. v. Entertainment Merchants Association, et al.
Petitioner: Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Governor of California, et al.
Respondent: Entertainment Merchants Association, et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Citation: 556 F.3d 950

Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Governor of California, et al.
v.
Entertainment Merchants Association, et al.
Background:

California Civil Code sections 1746-1746.5 prohibit the sale of violent video games to minors under 18 where a reasonable person would find that the violent content appeals to a deviant or morbid interest of minors, is patently offensive to prevailing community standards as to what is suitable for minors, and causes the game as a whole to lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors. The respondent industry groups challenged this prohibition on its face as violating the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. The court of appeals affirmed the district court's judgment permanently enjoining enforcement of the prohibition.

Question Presented:

1. Does the First Amendment bar a state from restricting the sale of violent video games to minors? 2. If the First Amendment applies to violent video games that are sold to minors, and the standard of review is strict scrutiny, under Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. F.C.C., 512 U.S. 622, 666 (1994), is the state required to demonstrate a direct causal link between violent video games and physical and psychological harm to minors before the state can prohibit the sale of the games to minors?

Question:

Does the First Amendment bar a state from restricting the sale of violent video games to minors?

BROWN v. ENTERTAINMENT MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION
ORAL ARGUMENT

11/02/10

Listen to Oral Argument in BROWN v. ENTERTAINMENT MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION
Holding: affirmed
Vote: 7-2
Opinion By:
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