California Slapped with Legal Fees for Failed Supreme Court Case

California Slapped with Legal Fees for Failed Supreme Court Case

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The Supreme Court ruled the State of California must pay all legal fees associated with the failed case.

Remember when the Supreme Court ruled last year that videogames were protected by the First Amendment and could not be regulated based on "mature" content? The case was a landmark victory for the rights of the industry, and the ramifications of the ruling will be felt for years to come as games become a bigger part of our culture. One of the short term benefits of the ruling is a big wad of cash. The Supreme Court today said that the failed lawsuit brought by then Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger and State Representative Leland Yee was so wrong that the State of California must pay for all legal fees associated with the case. The $950,000 in lawyer's fees must be paid from California's budget, which when added to the two previous defeated suits in lower courts, amounts to a total payment of $1,327,000 to the Electronic Software Association. The ESA plans to donate part of that sum to fund after-school education in the Bay Area of San Francisco.

"Senator Yee and Governor Schwarzenegger wasted more than $1 million in taxpayer funds at a time when Californians could ill afford it," said Michael D. Gallagher, president of the ESA. "However, we feel strongly that some of these funds should be used to improve services for California's youth."

While I applaud the noble goal of donating some of the funds for a good purpose rather than just lording over the money - a brilliant PR move by the ESA, by the way - that's not really the point. The ESA's statement pulls no punches by stating that all of the money wasted could have gone to fixing the economic woes of the state instead of attacking an industry that contributes $2.1 billion to California's economy.

"Entertainment software companies directly and indirectly employ nearly 53,000 Californians with an average salary of more than $97,000 per year at 267 facilities," the statement read. That is significant, and our government should be working to foster such industry instead of trying to unlawfully regulate the content of a small number of videogames.

Covering game-related news is an endless pursuit and we sometimes lose perspective on cultural issues that really matter when reading and watching all we can about the latest titles, so it's understandable that we have moved on from remarking on the Supreme Court decision. Still, it is refreshing to be reminded just how important Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association was as a giant leap in the maturation of the gaming medium. And given how our pastime is besmirched in the mainstream media time and time again, we gamers are entitled to a bit of smugness as the ESA collects the wasted fees.

Hell, even a few "I told you so"s and "Na na nee, poo poo!" are in order.

Read the story of what it felt like to be in the courtroom when the oral arguments of Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association was heard on November 2nd 2010.

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I don't care about anything the ESA has to say.

On one hand, the SOPA supporters.
On the other hand, the SOPA supporters.

I'd be a lot happier if Yee and Schwarzenegger had to personally pay those fees, and ALL of the money went back to the Californian taxpayers.

He'll be back though.

so i take it the taxpayers will now be paying the ESA after the taxpayers paid to sue them...

y is it the Governator and mrYee get off scot-free here?

p.s. heres hoping they get thrown out of office in the next election.

The_root_of_all_evil:
On one hand, the SOPA supporters.
On the other hand, the SOPA supporters.

I'd be a lot happier if Yee and Schwarzenegger had to personally pay those fees, and ALL of the money went back to the Californian taxpayers.

He'll be back though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1ypn0y32Ac&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Yeah he will be back...with weapons!

Jove:

Yeah he will be back...with weapons!

Escapist Quoting Machine:
One of your posts has been quoted by Jove!

This made me laugh far more than it should.

One could also argue that the ESA has better things to do than try to DESTROY THE FABRIC OF EXISTENCE but that's another story, right?

Im gonna guess that the public will probably see 30% of that money in donations, another 20-25% will go into supporting SOPA like bills to become law, and the rest will just go for the people at the ESA to piss around with.

So when will the ESA have to pay back all the money it spent on lobbying to get SOPA passed?

The_root_of_all_evil:
On one hand, the SOPA supporters.
On the other hand, the SOPA supporters.

I'd be a lot happier if Yee and Schwarzenegger had to personally pay those fees, and ALL of the money went back to the Californian taxpayers.

He'll be back though.

Yeah he really gave the State a Raw Deal.

The ESA did something marginally decent, and that's nothing to be sneezed at. Kinda tainted by the fact that they're only giving back after taking it....

DVS BSTrD:
So when will the ESA have to pay back all the money it spent on lobbying to get SOPA passed?

The_root_of_all_evil:
On one hand, the SOPA supporters.
On the other hand, the SOPA supporters.

I'd be a lot happier if Yee and Schwarzenegger had to personally pay those fees, and ALL of the money went back to the Californian taxpayers.

He'll be back though.

Yeah he really gave the State a Raw Deal.

Problem is, next term he'll be Running, Man.

Zachary Amaranth:
The ESA did something marginally decent, and that's nothing to be sneezed at. Kinda tainted by the fact that they're only giving back after taking it....

DVS BSTrD:
So when will the ESA have to pay back all the money it spent on lobbying to get SOPA passed?

The_root_of_all_evil:
On one hand, the SOPA supporters.
On the other hand, the SOPA supporters.

I'd be a lot happier if Yee and Schwarzenegger had to personally pay those fees, and ALL of the money went back to the Californian taxpayers.

He'll be back though.

Yeah he really gave the State a Raw Deal.

Problem is, next term he'll still be Running, Man.

I have a feeling the Schwarzenegger administration will suffer a Total Recall.

If there are two things California government loves they are:

1) Wasting money.

2) If it is not mandatory it is forbidden.

DVS BSTrD:

I have a feeling the Schwarzenegger administration will suffer a Total Recall.

I'd like to think this was the End of Days for his administration, but a few True Lies and California will vote for him like the girly men they are.

I don't feel strongly either way I am disappointed that the ESA got a single red penny.

This will teach "The Man" to not censor video games!

Movie jokes aside, let's see here... Who wants to try and shove them both into a ring so they can eat each other alive?

Honestly, this isn't really a good thing that will teach Yee much of a lesson. The money is coming from the state, which means that the only people really suffering from the failure are the people in the state. And giving back 'some' of the money could mean anything. Whatever they don't give back will be used to protect their interests, be that SOPA-type bills or fighting against laws that will hurt them in the short-term. (I mentioned in the short-term as SOPA-type bills would likely be worse for the companies they represent in the long run)

oh yay, tax payer money going to a group trying to bribe government officials. The ESA DOES NOT have my support anymore.

Leeland Yee is a total toolbag. You should have made him pay out of pocket. I have to say though, it's unfair to put it on the backs of the tax payers. It's not their fault the California State Government is out of control, and if you think it is, you just don't know how government actually works.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Jove:

Yeah he will be back...with weapons!

Escapist Quoting Machine:
One of your posts has been quoted by Jove!

This made me laugh far more than it should.

What the BY JOVE part or the with weapons part? :D

I think the ESA is trying to save face after supporting SOPA. It's not working for me.

shameduser:
I think the ESA is trying to save face after supporting SOPA. It's not working for me.

I doubt it's trying to save face from supporting SOPA. It's much more likely them trying to save face for the fact they're going to get over a million dollars of tax-payer money.

On one hand, ha ha you failed at censoring games now you to pay for being such big stupid stupid heads.

On the other hand, the ESA supported SOPA up until its well deserved death.

I'd say it's a wash, the ESA should not get payed. The people who signed the petitions, the people who went before the Supreme Court and argued for games, they should get payed.
In fact, it should be the ESA who pays them, and only after everyone who helped defend games in the eyes of the court has gotten payed by the ESA, should the people involved in the making and implementing of the bill trying to ban games compensate the ESA from their own pockets.

But that's only gonna happen in a fantasy world, so I'll just go back to saying the ESA shouldn't get payed. Especially not from the California tax payers.

shameduser:
I think the ESA is trying to save face after supporting SOPA. It's not working for me.

Except this is something they did long before any of the SOPA stuff was around.

The_root_of_all_evil:
He'll be back though.

I see what you did there.

Maybe not, though. It was manifestly clear from the outset that the bill was unconstitutional. Anyone involved with a thimblefull of sense should have known that the bill would not survive high court scrutiny. But Schwarzenegger and Yee persisted in trying to push it through regardless, despite the near-certainty it would be overturned, despite knowing that California can ill-afford wasteful spending and despite the obvious benefits a harmonious relationship with the tech industry (and consequences if that relationship should sour).

Hopefully, the millions of dollars wasted by these two "public servants" will get noticed by the taxpayers and they will be held accountable for thier poor decisions. Sadly, the voters of the Great State of California have - if nothing else - demonstrated over the years an extremely poor track record of removing scoundrels from public office.

DVS BSTrD:

Zachary Amaranth:
The ESA did something marginally decent, and that's nothing to be sneezed at. Kinda tainted by the fact that they're only giving back after taking it....

DVS BSTrD:
So when will the ESA have to pay back all the money it spent on lobbying to get SOPA passed?
Yeah he really gave the State a Raw Deal.

Problem is, next term he'll still be Running, Man.

I have a feeling the Schwarzenegger administration will suffer a Total Recall.

I dunno, he's turned out to be quite the political Predator...
EDIT: Even though the Collateral Damage from that bill could have spelled the End of Days for the gaming industry, his support is still pretty strong...

Frostbite3789:

shameduser:
I think the ESA is trying to save face after supporting SOPA. It's not working for me.

Except this is something they did long before any of the SOPA stuff was around.

The law suit was last year. The announcement that the money they demand to get repaid from the lawsuit going to support the youth of California is new and seeing as this article was posted yesterday I would believe that it was post SOPA which means they could quite likely be doing it to save face. Please tell me you read the article before commenting...

Capt. Crankypants:

DVS BSTrD:

Zachary Amaranth:
The ESA did something marginally decent, and that's nothing to be sneezed at. Kinda tainted by the fact that they're only giving back after taking it....

Problem is, next term he'll still be Running, Man.

I have a feeling the Schwarzenegger administration will suffer a Total Recall.

I dunno, he's turned out to be quite the political Predator...
EDIT: Even though the Collateral Damage from that bill could have spelled the End of Days for the gaming industry, his support is still pretty strong...

I know that but after the whole illegitimate Junior thing coming to light has left his popularity is a little Rundown. And the Republican establishment has probably classified him among the Expendables.

Baresark:
Leeland Yee is a total toolbag. You should have made him pay out of pocket.

As awesome as that would be, I think it might be illegal or unconstitutional or something. Still, I can't help but be reminded of that episode of South Park where all the students start suing the school over trumped-up charges of "sexual harassment", and the school ends up going flat broke. If the ESA really wanted to prove that they're the good guys and make Yee look like an even bigger bastard by comparison, they would have respectfully turned down the money on the grounds that the state needed it more.

DTWolfwood:
so i take it the taxpayers will now be paying the ESA after the taxpayers paid to sue them...

y is it the Governator and mrYee get off scot-free here?

p.s. heres hoping they get thrown out of office in the next election.

Arnold has hit his term limit and is no longer and can never be governor again... just saying...

Gotta say, I'm not sure if this story is a good thing or not.

On the one hand, Leland Yee is a self-promoting wanker who has wasted taxpayer money on a personal crusade.

On the other hand, the ESA used gamer support to win that case and then promptly shafted us with SOPA.

Ugh, must they bleed CA dry? D=

Our budget is poor enough as it is T__T

DVS BSTrD:

Capt. Crankypants:

DVS BSTrD:

I have a feeling the Schwarzenegger administration will suffer a Total Recall.

I dunno, he's turned out to be quite the political Predator...
EDIT: Even though the Collateral Damage from that bill could have spelled the End of Days for the gaming industry, his support is still pretty strong...

I know that but after the whole illegitimate Junior thing coming to light has left his popularity is a little Rundown. And the Republican establishment has probably classified him among the Expendables.

I think you and I could have been good buddies :P

Mortai Gravesend:
Ugh, must they bleed CA dry? D=

Our budget is poor enough as it is T__T

Then do your best to rally people to vote those dipshits out of office. I'm from Texas, so I have my hands full with our my own state's incompetents.

Mimsofthedawg:

DTWolfwood:
so i take it the taxpayers will now be paying the ESA after the taxpayers paid to sue them...

y is it the Governator and mrYee get off scot-free here?

p.s. heres hoping they get thrown out of office in the next election.

Arnold has hit his term limit and is no longer and can never be governor again... just saying...

yeah i was thinking that mite be the case for him. he gets a freebie D:<

 

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