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Supreme Court Sends ESA Request For Legal Costs Back To Lower Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has asked the lower Ninth Circuit Court to rule on an ESA request for $1.4 million in legal costs it incurred arguing the Brown vs. EMA case, which established First Amendment protections for video games.
The U.S. Supreme Court has elected not to rule on an Entertainment Software Association request that the state of California pay $1.4 million in legal costs it incurred arguing the Brown vs. EMA case, which established First Amendment protections for video games. SCOTUSBlog explains that the lack of a ruling means the issue of legal costs will be sent back down to the Ninth Circuit Court for adjudication. The ESA originally filed a request for $1.1 million in reimbursement in July, arguing that "California persisted in defending a law that Plaintiffs warned the Legislature was unconstitutional before it was passed." In June, the high court ruled in a 7-2 decision that video games qualify for full protection under the First Amendment, and that a 2005 California law restricting the sale of violent games to minors was therefore unconstitutional. The Supreme Court decision came after multiple prior decisions on such laws from other federal and state courts, all of which had found similarly in favor of the game industry. To put the legal costs in context, the ESA routinely spends over $1 million on lobbying efforts per fiscal quarter.

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