Then he asked the Justice if he liked movies about gladiators.
The normally dependable Antonin Scalia wrote the majority opinion in one of the worst Supreme Court rulings in this generation or any other. This raises the question as to whether he or the other six misguided justices who joined him have read or understood the First Amendment.I know how he feels. Reading a Fischer column will often raise similar questions about Bryan and the Bible (especially that one about the marine wildlife trainer at Sea World Orlando who was killed by an orca, which Bryan saw as a sign of the "ongoing failure of the West to take counsel on practical matters from the Scripture"). If Western Civilization had been less corrupt and degenerate, the killer whale would merely have swallowed the trainer, and vomited her up after three days and nights.
Scalia said California has no right to prohibit the sale of violent video games to minors that depict "killing, maiming, dismembering or sexually assaulting an image of a human being."
Players in the games that Scalia has ordered stores to sell to children without their parents' permission or knowledge use weapons that included guns aimed point-blank to the head of kneeling, helpless victims, chainsaws, scythes, fillet knives and electric drills, with vivid displays of splatter and severed body parts rolling around on the sidewalk. One game allows players to set unsuspecting bystanders on fire.
Screen capture from a typical violent video game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces.
One game involves chasing victims and shooting a never-ending stream of yellow urine at them.Never-ending? You don't even need to find power-ups, or loot dead opponents for beers? You can just play the whole game in R. Kelly mode?
If there was ever stuff that parents ought to be able to protect their minor children from, this is it. This ruling, which prohibits any kind of parental involvement in the rental or purchase of such games, is a tragic infringement on parental rights. We're way past "Father Knows Best" and into "Nine Tyrants in Robes Know Better but Don't Have a Clue."The Supreme Court didn't tell California parents they can't forbid their kids to play play violent video games. They just said they can't delegate the job of "protect[ing] their minor children" to cashiers at Game Spot.
If these justices had teenage boys, and one of them brought something like this home, it wouldn't be long before they'd be saying, "You know, there ought to be a law." Well, there was, but the Supremes in all their benighted wisdom have disabled it.It depends which one of the Supremes we're talking about. If it was Scalia, I imagine he'd say, "I don't want you playing that in the house," to which the son would reply by flipping off his father. Justice Scalia would then respond with the Vaffanculo, provoking the teenage boy to bite his thumb and grab his crotch, followed by a modified Vulcan salute. Scalia senior would immediately interdict the Evil Eye with the Sign of the Horns, then tug on his ear lobe before quickly transitioning into a spirited display of Jazz Hands. Eventually, their frantic gesticulations would become just a blur of motion, until they resembled two sailors attempting to communicate via semaphore while suffering simultaneous attacks of ergotism.
Then I bet Scalia would collapse to the floor, glazed with sweat, his pants bunched around his ankles after mooning his youngster in a desperate, but masterful coup de grace, and lay there wheezing and wishing that there was a law in California against selling Duke Nukem to minors. If, however, the Supreme in question was Diana Ross, then she'd probably just have her son fired and replaced with Cindy Birdsong.
The First Amendment protects freedom of speech. The operative word here is "speech," Justice Scalia. It protects "speech," not "expression," not "images of decapitated bodies with blood spouting from the neck." This is not a hard concept to understand.In Federalist No. 10, Madison wrote, "The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man; and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity, according to the different circumstances of civil society. Some men are content with such produce as the land may yield, others seek success in commerce or trade, while a third faction finds it both virtuous and cool to eviscerate zombies." Unsurprisingly, Hamilton was a dick about it.
The First Amendment was intended by the Founders to protect a specific kind of speech, namely political speech. The sole purpose of the First Amendment plank on free speech was to protect robust debate over matters of public policy.Plank? The Bill of Rights is just a party platform now? Or do supporters of Original Intent reject elitist words like "clause" and speak of the Constitution solely in brawny carpentry metaphors? And do I still have a fundamental right to tongue and groove the person I love?
It was never intended to provide cover for pornography, obscenity, vulgarity, or violent imagery. The Founders would roll over in their parchment to see what Scalia has done here to their beloved Bill of Rights.The Founders would also be surprised to find that they were buried in parchment rather than coffins, and that their ideas were in peril of being reinterpreted in light of two centuries of practical experience, while they themselves were in danger of being baked like new potatoes with 1 head of garlic, 3 tablespoons of flat-leaf parsley, and 1 sprig of thyme.
The fact that the Supreme Court even took this case at all is a sign of how used we have become to judicial tyranny. A right-thinking Court would have said, "Get this case out of this courtroom. We have no right even to weigh in on this case. This is for the people of California to decide, and your elected representatives have decided. If you don't like this law, then don't come to us, get yourselves some different elected representatives. End of story."The Founders intended that when offered a case with serious and potentially far-reaching Constitutional implications, the Justices of the Supreme Court would leap unanimously onto the bench, hoisting their black robes to their knees and screaming, "Eek!" and "Kill it!"