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Supreme Court to rule on banning violent video game sales to minors

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in two cases. In Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the court will decide whether the First Amendment [text] permits any limits on offensive content in violent video games sold to minors, and whether a state regulation for displaying offensive, harmful images to children is invalid if it fails to satisfy the exacting "strict scrutiny" standard of review. California Civil Code sections 1746-1746.5 [text] prohibit the sale of violent video games to minors under 18 where a reasonable person would find that the violent content appeals to a deviant or morbid interest of minors, is patently offensive to prevailing community standards as to what is suitable for minors, and causes the game as a whole to lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] the district court's judgment permanently enjoining enforcement of the prohibition.

In Ortiz v. Jordan [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the court will decide whether a party may appeal an order denying summary judgment after a full trial on the merits if the party chose not to appeal the order before trial. The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled [opinion, PDF] that, "although courts normally do not review the denial of a summary judgment motion after a trial on the merits, denial of summary judgment based on qualified immunity is an exception to this rule." There is a circuit split on this issue.

Also Monday, the court decided not to allow Michigan to reopen a longstanding controversy [backgrounder, PDF; JURIST report] with the state of Illinois seeking to close two waterways that allow invasive Asian carp to reach the Great Lakes. The court also refused to allow Michigan to open a new case on the issue.

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