Sex, Lies, and Videogames: Brown V. Entertainment Merchants Association

Cato Supreme Court Review, Vol. 27, 2011

Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-03

31 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2011 Last revised: 2 Feb 2012

David G. Post

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: October 3, 2011

Abstract

In Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, a decision that veteran Supreme Court watcher Linda Greenhouse called ‘‘the most surprising decision’’ of the 2010 Term (and the one that also received Greenhouse’s ‘‘most unusual judicial performance’’ award, for Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissenting opinion), the Supreme Court (7-2) struck down California’s prohibition on the sale of violent video-games to minors on the grounds that it offended First Amendment protections for the freedom of speech. In this article, I look at the doctrinal underpinnings of the majority opinion, the oddities in the two dissenting opinions (Thomas and Breyer), and offer some thoughts on the implications of the decision for First Amendment law going forward.

Keywords: Constitution, First Amendment, Videogames, Obscenity, Violence, Minors

JEL Classification: K10, K19

Suggested Citation

Post, David G., Sex, Lies, and Videogames: Brown V. Entertainment Merchants Association (October 3, 2011). Cato Supreme Court Review, Vol. 27, 2011; Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-03. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1937639

David G. Post (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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