According to the Supreme Court, videogames qualify for First Amendment protection, and California's attempt to enact a law restricting the sale of violent videogames to minors was ruled unconstitutional. The 7-2 decision came in the case of Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, and to rub salt in the wound, the ESA is now seeking $1.1 million in attorney's fees from the state of California, Arstechnica reports.
"We look forward to moving forward and working together to raise awareness about the valuable tools and information available to parents," said Michael D. Gallagher, CEO of the ESA, the trade association representing US computer and video game publishers. "From the start of this misguided legislation, then-Governor Schwarzenegger and specific California legislators knew that 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."
This is a legal course the ESA has navigated before. Louisiana, Michigan, and Illinois have all been on the hook for legal reimbursement after failing to pass laws restricting the sale of videogames, though this would be the most the ESA has ever collected from a single state if it gets the full $1.1 million. The ESA has been awarded over $1.71 million combined in attorney's fees so far.