Wal-Mart Tops U.S. High Court Agenda as Violent Video Game Ruling Loom

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by TLSS_N, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. TLSS_N
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    TLSS_N Who is John Galt?

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    Back in the south~
    Violent video games, climate change and a million Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) employees will preoccupy the U.S. Supreme Court in the homestretch of its nine-month term.

    The justices will issue 31 rulings over the next four weeks, beginning today when they take the bench at 10 a.m. in Washington. The June flurry has become a tradition at a court where the combination of summer plans and calendar realities can leave the justices resembling high school students rushing to complete their term papers.

    The lingering disputes include two securities-fraud clashes, two patent cases, a campaign-finance test, a free- speech case involving pharmaceutical marketing and a fight over suits against generic-drug makers. Those rulings ultimately may be overshadowed by higher-profile decisions, particularly the class-action case that will determine whether potentially a million workers can unite in a suit accusing Wal-Mart of gender bias.

    “There are three major rulings coming that will set the tone for the term: global warming, class actions and violent video games,” said Tom Goldstein, a lawyer at Goldstein, Howe & Russell PC and the creator of the Scotusblog website.

    The March 29 argument in the Wal-Mart case suggested skepticism among the justices about the scope of the class approved by a federal appeals court. Should the justices rule in Wal-Mart’s favor, they could either kill the lawsuit outright or kick the case back to a lower court.

    The ruling will be the court’s first in a dozen years on the standards for certifying a class action. In a testament to the importance of the case, more than 20 companies are supporting Wal-Mart, the country’s biggest private employer.

    Climate Change

    Companies may get another victory in the climate change case, which involves six states seeking to force five companies including American Electric Power Co. to cut their emissions of the gases that contribute to climate change.

    During arguments in April, justices across the ideological spectrum said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was better equipped than a federal court to sort through the costs and benefits of reducing carbon emissions.

    The climate change ruling “could have the greatest potential impact on business, given that virtually every business is an emitter of greenhouse gases and therefore a potential defendant” in a similar lawsuit, said former U.S. Solicitor General Gregory Garre, now a lawyer at Latham & Watkins LLP in Washington. He filed a brief in the case on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
    Violent Games

    The video-game industry is focused on its challenge to a California law that would bar the sale of violent games to minors. California is asking the court to put new limits on the Constitution’s free-speech clause and to let states treat violent games like pornography and restrict youth access.

    The Nov. 2 argument session signaled the court was poised to strike down the law. The five-month wait since then has fostered new uncertainty, as the dispute has become the longest- pending case.

    An industry victory “seemed very likely at first but seems far more uncertain now,” said Roy Englert, an appellate lawyer at Robbins Russell Englert Orseck Untereiner & Sauber LLP.

    For business, victories in those cases would take the sting out of what so far has been a disappointing term. The Chamber of Commerce has lost seven of the 12 cases in which it has filed a brief, including its own challenge to an Arizona law that imposes penalties on companies that hire illegal aliens.
    Patents and Drugs

    The court also will rule in a patent case that led to changes in Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Word software and may force the company to pay a $300 million award. A ruling in favor of Microsoft, which is fighting a lawsuit by I4i LP, could make it easier for large technology companies to invalidate patents.

    And in another free-speech case, the justices may overturn a Vermont law that would limit the ability of brand-name drugmakers to target individual doctors with sales pitches.

    As with the video-game dispute, the court’s reasoning may have implications well beyond the industry involved in the case.

    “The First Amendment is always an important area,” said Lisa Blatt, an appellate lawyer with Arnold & Porter LLP. “Whatever the court says about the First Amendment has ripple effects.” [/p]

    source

    I'm sure that all of those people will not put any "pressure" on the supremes.
     


  2. Nujui

    Nujui I need something to do.

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    Oh, the violent video game law.

    How about this: We make the parents actually LOOK at the game to see if they want to give it to their son or daughter. Seriously, we don't need a law that makes violent video games to be treated like pornography.
     
  3. Tonitonichopchop

    Tonitonichopchop GBAtemp Maniac

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    I agree. ESRB/PEGI/CERO all do a fine job giving off warnings about video games in their respective countries. I swear to God, it's like parents become stupider every day and can't read the box to a video game they bought for their kid. It's easy.
     
  4. smile72

    smile72 NewsBot

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    This is America, of course parents become stupider. Reading normal sentences or phrases is too difficult for them now.
     
  5. BlueStar

    BlueStar GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Is there any enforcement of age ratings over there? Here it's an offence to sell or supply an 18/15 rated game to someone under that age, which means if you look under those ages, you may have to show ID, in the same way you have to show ID to prove you're 18 to buy alcohol. Of course, people don't raid your house to see if the game you bought was for little Timmy, the 14 year old you consider mature enough for a 15 rated game, so there's room for parents to use judgement. But the fact the laws are there does quite a good job of at least partially muting those who want to use the 'think of the children' argument when trying to censor what I, as a 30 year old, should be allowed to play. The simple response is "Kids aren't allowed to play these games anyway."
     
  6. Nujui

    Nujui I need something to do.

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    Well, as long as you have a parent with you, you're allowed to buy it without an id, but that's the problem. Most parents don't bat an eye to look at the game fully before buying it for their children, which lead to all this crap about violent video games, but instead of blaming the parents, they blame other things.
     
  7. rad140

    rad140 GBAtemp's "over quoter"

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    The sad thing is that I know parents who aren't stupid, and actually use these things. It's just the dumb ones with the big mouths that make a fit.
    And I'm sure there will be a pointless debate over what is a "violent" video game. Killing? Blood, gore? Violence? ESRB etc ratings?

    Even if such a law is passed, there's no guarantee it will actually do good. In Canada, kids aren't supposed to be able to buy cigarettes under 19 (I believe), and yet I saw a kid buying some with a fake id a few days ago anyway.
    So if kids really want "violent" games so bad, they will find another way to get them.
     
  8. DSGamer64

    DSGamer64 Canadian, Eh?

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    Or they just don't listen to the store clerk. Honestly, they don't and it just goes to show you how terrible they are as parents. Don't blame the game or the store clerk or the developers, blame the parents.
     
  9. injected11

    injected11 Crescent Fresh™

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    I was at a Gamestop 2 days ago and saw a clearly underage kid (as in I doubt he was old enough to be in junior high even) pull Left 4 Dead 2 (rated M) off the shelf, and hand it to his mom. She says, "Are you sure this is the one you want? Okay." and turns toward the checkout counter. I ask "Did you check the age rating?" to which she replied "Why would that matter? This is what he wants."

    I'm not sure which side of this issue to stand on. I'm all for more freedom and the right to make your own choices, but when so many are just ignoring the rating restrictions or don't bother to put any effort into regulating what media their young children are playing, someone needs to start paying attention for them.
     
  10. Pyrmon

    Pyrmon Burnin' Monkey Love

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    Like, for instance, Piracy.
     
  11. m3rox

    m3rox GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    I can see it now..

    "Sorry, you have to be at least 18 to buy that Super Mario Bros. game, kid."
     
  12. injected11

    injected11 Crescent Fresh™

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    They're all rated E. Try a sensible example next time. This is only going to affect violent, profane, or explicit games.
     
  13. Magmorph

    Magmorph GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I thought it was already illegal to sell rated M games to minors. Many Mario games could fall into the category of violent.
     
  14. m3rox

    m3rox GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Exactly. Mario games contain violence (especially the RPGs).
     
  15. marcus134

    marcus134 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I'd like the people to remember that the same debate happen again and again in history and that is just the media that changes. Over time, peoples realize how stupid this is and let go of the debate or censor. It's widely known that censor on literacy was applied until the 20th century in N.America.

    But did you know that a debate on violence in comic also happened in the 50's, the proponent of the ban said that comics caused youth delinquency. This assertion is laughable when we look at it today, but it was backed by youth psychologist expert.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_comi...The_Comics_Code
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comics_Code_Authority
    But the real consequences of the debate was the crumbling of most of she us/western comic industry which resulted in decades of comic under development (when we compare ourselves to japan).

    As you know, the debate also happened on violence in movie, tv and music.

    This is the same bullshit over and over, and in 50 years, we're going to look at this debate and say this is so stupid.
     
  16. injected11

    injected11 Crescent Fresh™

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    It's not illegal to sell to minors, it is frowned upon and usually "against company policy" currently. I'll clarify with "realistically violent" games then, since you'd rather argue semantics than the core idea behind this. Every Mario game on my shelf has been rated E. This is only going to affect M-rated games.
     
  17. m3rox

    m3rox GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    I don't know where you live, but here in Washington state, it's illegal to sell an M rated game to a minor.
     
  18. BowlOfSpiders

    BowlOfSpiders hi

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    A knife seller in NC sold me a knife when I had no parents with me. Most employees don't care anymore.
     
  19. injected11

    injected11 Crescent Fresh™

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    http://www.esrb.org/ratings/faq.jsp#24
     
  20. Magmorph

    Magmorph GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Where does it say this will only affect M games?