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Supreme Court Should Pull the Plug on California's 'Terminator,' First Amendment Expert Robert Corn-Revere Urges in New Speaking Freely Paper
FOR RELEASE: July 7, 2009
Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute
Arlington, Va., July 7, 2009 – California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is trying to rewrite the First Amendment with the same relentless zeal of the killer cyborg he played in the 1984 movie “The Terminator,” says prominent First Amendment attorney Robert Corn-Revere.
And this current effort by the cyborg-turned-governor must be short-circuited by the U.S. Supreme Court, Corn-Revere urges in a new opinion paper released today.
California has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit against a California law that would’ve restricted access by minors to violent video games. The circuit court found that the law violated the First Amendment on several grounds, including that the Constitution does not permit regulating violence as a form of obscenity.
That decision is one of five similar rulings from three federal appeals courts and several federal district courts against nine state and local governments that sought to regulate video violence.
Despite that clear message, “California is asking the Supreme Court to reverse 60 years of First Amendment jurisprudence,” Corn-Revere says, and “to lower the bar so that protected speech may be regulated based on legislative whim.”
Corn-Revere’s paper, “The Terminator Cometh,” is the latest in the Speaking Freely series published jointly by The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression in Charlottesville, Va., and The Media Institute in Arlington, VA.
Now that the Terminator’s plot to undermine the First Amendment involves the Supreme Court, “it is time for the Court to declare an end to the sequels and to pull the plug on this machine,” concludes Corn-Revere, a partner with Davis Wright Tremaine in Washington, D.C.
“The Terminator Cometh” is available from both organizations in hard copy and on their websites: www.tjcenter.org and www.mediainstitute.org