Insult To Injury

In one of the more publicized cases from last term, the US Supreme Court struck down a California law that sought to regulate violent video games. As if that wasn’t enough bad news for California, now the Entertainment Software Association, the entity that took on the law, is seeking to have California reimburse it $1.1 million in the attorney fees it paid to litigate the case. According to the link posted above, the ESA has recovered fees in similar matters from Louisiana, Michigan and Illinois. We’ll see if California joins the club. We often talk about the need to enforce the First Amendment, even in close cases, to avoid a “chilling effect” on speech. That is, if someone is concerned that a law will apply to what they have to say, they may not say it. In that case, the speech is chilled. I suspect that the threat of having to pay 7 figure attorney fees may have a chilling effect on any state legislatures that might consider regulating video games. And I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.