On Feb. 20, 2009 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a California law banning the sale or rental of “violent video games” to minors and requiring such games to be labeled “18” (the legal age for adults). While this decision may surprise some California lawmakers and parents, its holding is fully consistent with substantial U.S. Supreme Court precedent entitling minors to a signifi cant measure of First Amendment protection, and leaving parents with the duty to supervise “appropriate” content.
The lawsuit to invalidate California Civil Code Sections 1746 through 1746.5 (the Violent Video Games Act) was fi led by several video software associations against California’s governor and other elected officials. The act was sponsored by Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, a child psychologist, and signed into law on Oct. 7, 2005, by Gov. Schwarzenegger.