After dealing with a number of high-profile defections in recent months, the Entertainment Software Association trumpeted a bit of positive news today. The trade group announced that Minnesota has paid $65,000 in legal fees and expenses related to the fight over the state's overturned gaming law.
In May of 2006, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed into law SF 785, which imposed a $25 fine on minors who purchased games rated M for Mature or AO for Adults Only. A federal judge blocked the law and declared it unconstitutional before it could take effect, a decision the state twice appealed unsuccessfully.
This is by no means the first time the ESA has won such an award of legal fees. In total, state and local governments have turned over nearly $2 million in combined fees and expenses to the ESA in First Amendment cases. Among the states that have had game-related laws overturned are Louisiana, Illinois, and California.