Supreme Court justice Kagan 'sweated' video game decision - Report

Elena Kagan says she struggled "mightily" to make up her mind in dispute over selling violent games to minors.


In late June, the United States Supreme Court sided with the video game industry in the case of Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association. The court deemed that a law that sought to prevent retailers from selling violent video games to minors was unconstitutional by a 7-2 vote. Now, one of the justices siding with the industry is speaking out, saying she struggled "mightily" to make a decision.

Justice Kagan.
Justice Kagan.

"It was the case where I struggled most and thought most often I'm on the wrong side of it," said Justice Elena Kagan at the Aspen Institute's McCloskey Speaker Series, as reported by the Aspen Daily News.

"You could see why the government would have wanted to do this and you can see the kind of danger it was worried about, the kind of effects these extremely violent video games have on young people."

The Supreme Court's decision ruled that the law ran in opposition of the First Amendment. While Kagan did decide the law was unconstitutional based on this violation, she said this was no easy conclusion to reach.

"But I couldn't figure out how to square that with our First Amendment precedence and precedence is very important to me," she said. "I sweated over that mightily."

Continuing, Kagan said, "I think what you have to say, and people have been saying this, is this is a court that is extremely protective of the First Amendment and extremely protective of speech," she said. "There is no question the court has a very expansive view of the First Amendment."

For more, check out the Supreme Court's full decision (PDF), as well as GameSpot's extended feature coverage of the Supreme Court case.

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