In a brief moment of good news and sanity, the Supreme Court has struck down a California law criminalizing the sale of "violent" video games to minors, hopefully ending the many different state laws which have all been proposed and struck down by state courts over the past decade. A 7-2 ruling is pretty darn definitive, and doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room for minor changes to slip the next one past the gates.
In a just world, Leland Yee, the nutbar in California who has been pushing this law for years, would be forced to pay, out of his own pocket, the money wasted by California taxpayers on passing it and then defending it, but we do not live in a just world.
The list of prior cases cited by Justice Scalia is telling; he correctly notes that every new medium of storytelling has been blamed for juvenile crime and attacked, and every time, society has moved on without much difficulty. He dismisses, with characteristic sarcasm, the "But it's diffffferent!" whines from the dissenters, and neatly eviscerates the arguments in favor of utter parental authority over anyone under the age of 18, rolling a Natural 20 on the Making His Point table when he notes that if Clarence Thomas' viewpoint were held to be the law of the land, it would be a criminal offense to hand a religious tract to someone under the age of 18, or to permit anyone under 18 into any religious institution without written permission from their parents.
I am particularly pleased that Scalia also acknowledged a point I've been making for years -- that you cannot simultaneously demand censorship of speech on the grounds that the speech in question is "valueless" and then also justify censoring the same speech on the grounds it stimulates improper thoughts. It's amazing how often people put forth this argument, oblivious to the stupidity of it. If speech is truly "valueless", then, there's really no need to censor it, since it can do no harm. If you argue it does harm because it promotes violent, dehumanizing, objectifying, racist, sexist, etc, ideas, then you are stating you wish to ban the speech because of the idealogical content of it -- and that is precisely what the First Amendment forbids. Case closed.
Well, perhaps not so amazing, given that supporting censorship means you fear ideas, so anyone who does so is not likely to spend too much time thinking in the first place, lest they think the wrong things.