Last year’s Supreme Court ruling stating that video games are, in fact, protected under the first amendment came at a cost. A cost that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the Supreme Court has deemed to be no less than $950,000 – a fee that the ESA is now looking to extract from the state of California according to a recent ruling from SCOTUS.
This comes after the California already agreed to pay $282,794 after a ruling in a lower court.
The ESA’s argument boiled down to this paragraph taking from the filing:
California persisted in defending a law that Plaintiffs warned the Legislature was unconstitutional before it was passed; that was previously found to be unconstitutional by the district court and a unanimous panel of the Ninth Circuit; and that is similar to at least eight other laws invalidated as unconstitutional prior to the time that California sought certiorari in this case.
The ESA will be donating at least some of the money to a new California charity launching sometime this spring. The charitable organization aims to provide after-school programs in Oakland and Sacramento and will use video games to teach job skills.
It seems that the state of California was destined to lose this case. After-all, as ESA CEO Michael Gallagher said, “[They] knew their efforts to censor and restrict expression were, as court after court ruled, unconstitutional and thus a waste of taxpayers’ money, government time, and state resources.”
It’s good to see that the state of California will be punished for its attempts to stifle free speech and even better to see that the ESA will be giving back to the people.