The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Schwarzenegger vs. EMA (see “Video Games Before Supreme Court”) on Tuesday, with the justices asking lots of questions about the law under review, which proposes to regulate violent game content. Justice Scalia, who the New York Times saw as the justice most skeptical of the regulation, asked of the law which regulates violence that appeals to minors’ “deviant or morbid interests,” “What’s a deviant violent video game? As opposed to what? A normal violent video game?” He also drew comparisons to traditional children’s content. “Some of the Grimm’s fairy tales are quite grim. Are you going to ban them too?” he asked.
Justice Kagan asked about a game by name. “You think Mortal Kombat is prohibited by this statute?” she asked. The counsel defending the law said that the game was a “candidate” for regulation.
Based on the questioning, the Times saw Justices Alito, Breyer, and Chief Justice Roberts as those that seemed most likely to try to uphold the law.
The court recently ruled against a law that prohibited depictions of animal cruelty, which like this law, would regulate a new form of content (beyond obscenity) on an 8-1 vote (Alito was the lone dissenter).
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund filed an amicus brief in the case (see “CBLDF Joins Video Game Case”).