Sessler's Soapbox: Video Games in the Supreme Court

Posted: May 4, 2010
Sessler's Soapbox: Video Games in the Supreme Court
Adam discusses the supreme court case where the justices will decide if video games are a protected form of free speech.

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  • Capxeno

    As a Phoenian living in my natural habitat of sheering summer days and desert hikes; I find it a little annoying, if not aggravating that something as simple as illegal immigration cannot be solved.
    The issue here is, that it is in fact an issue. However, there is little that can be done the moment an illegal immigrate reaches a major city. Because, no matter how you go about it you will be not just rubbing someone the wrong way, you will be dragging the sandpaper of offensiveness down their crouch. Obviously, no one is going to play nice.

    I do have to call shenanigans on racial profiling. Only because it takes a little simple math and geography, including actually politics to understand what the majority of the illegal immigration problem is in Arizona. However, stops and searches for illegal immigrants on every traffic stop is idiotic. Because the problem is that the flow of illegal immigrates is higher than even tea party extremists would like to admit. Why? Because of current problems south of the boarder have led a continual mass exodus from a country these people are still very patriotic about.

    Take that into account, there has to be something extremely stressing happening south of the boarder for patriotic people to leave the land they re so proud of. I can understand this by looking at my closest Orange market corner store. Every morning there are dozens of Hispanic nationals waiting to be picked up by upper middle class Americans in white pick up trucks to work on their yards. However, there is a number of Mexican cartels that fight over this entire plaza, because behind the orange market drug sales are obvious. Each store is paying some kind of money to constantly shifting cartels and the day workers themselves.

    Now, considering that 3 years ago, the day workers were still there, but the gangs were not involved. The information I draw from it is that is, the cartels were in Mexico first, the average Joe and his family, came to America to get out of that situation. However, the coyotes that got them here were cartel run. So, the cartels were also able to move into the state after average Joe. Their problem followed them.

    Why I cannot respect their plight, is that these people are almost always patriotic to their country. Then why did they run away from a problem that would follow them anyway? What needs to be done is first them to stand up for the country they love, and second stop running away from their problems.

    To stop illegal immigration, the need to circumvent the normal avenues of immigration to be stemmed or eliminated.

    Although, like it or not. Illegal Immigration is a problem. My conclusion is that both sides of the SB 1070 debate are acting like idiots. on the pro side you have people who do not understand the bill of rights and do not have a grasp of how to deal with the actual issue, and the con side you have people who are completely missing the point, that illegal immigration is in fact illegal.

    Posted: August 18, 2010 10:59 AM
  • 3dEN

    many people tend to overeact to children playing violent games but with good reason. there have been incidents in the past where violent games were "claimed" to be leading causes in homocides whether it was just an excuse or if it is true no longer matters the general adult public firmly believes violent games are bad mainly because they have never played them. im not sure about the rest of you people but if i play gears of war i don't fantasize about chainsawing my math teacher the next day however the blame mostly lies with the parents they should know there childs physch level and determine what kind of games they should play if any. anybody who says games are bad are most likely parents afraid of there childs wellbieng and attempting to not expose there child to violence at young ages. and the new laws in arizona is the first major attempt to stop southern immigration in the border states it's not perfect and definitley racial profiles but is there any way to end immigration without racial profiling im sure they will smooth out the edges soon.

    Posted: August 6, 2010 7:10 PM
  • Kelson

    I find it a little distressing that you claim distressingly that the Supreme Court has gone to the Right and want a defense of Free Speech in the form of video game violence, since you claim quite rightly that "video games are language." Traditionally the Libertarian, small-government side of the Right has soundly defended Free Speech in its purest forms. However, Religious Conservatives have traditionally been the drivers of limiting violence in video games. However, you should know that the Justices and the legislature on the Left have soundly and systematically attacked Hate Speech (which many of them have lumped video game violence into.) So really, if you are right (meaning the Religious Right will restrict violence) and I am right (meaning the Left will continue to restrict hate-speech) then we are in a world of hurt regarding Free Speech.

    In regards to AZ, you are right that the Fourth Amendment is important but you neglect the fact that the Fourth Amendment doesn't apply to immigrants that are undocumented and here illegally. So the problem is, given the concern for public safety in the face of increasing drug crime along the AZ/Mexican border, "how do we find those that shouldn't be here?" AZ's response was, after 20 years of asking the federal government for help and getting turned down, to take matters into their own hands through due-process of law. Hispanic-American representatives in the AZ legislature voted, debated, and had their say on this bill. Though you and I weren't there, you have to at least respect that it was through due-process that the law was passed. Does that make it morally right? Nope. But anyone that can remember Philosophy 101 knows theres a big difference between Morally Right and Legally Right. However, a state must enforce the laws of it's own citizens and ensure public safety. In my mind, what the AZ law shows is the fundamental failure of the US to address Immigration Laws and problems in any way. So I agree with you that the Fourth Amendment is as important as the First Amendment--but you need to understand: 1. The Fourth Amendment doesn't constitutionally apply to people here illegally and 2. Fourth Amendment Rights were suspended temporarily due to emergency measures through due-process. The Constitution is pretty clear on this point--in the face of the Federal Government not being able to do it's sworn duty these Powers are then reserved to the States--which is the Tenth Amendment of the Bill of Rights--which was one of the most important carry-over laws from the Articles of Confederation (the first laws of the United States of America). And yes, the Amendments can, and have, been found to compete with each other many times.

    I appreciate your Soapbox. I hope it can moderate and foster decent political discussion in an increasingly divided nation.

    Posted: June 7, 2010 9:13 PM
  • theRZAmahNZA

    Arizona law mirrors the federal law, so why aren't people up in arms about the federal law?

    Posted: June 3, 2010 6:42 PM
  • Crazyhorse27

    Hey sessy dnt be an ignorant ass the fed law is worse than the arizona law read it dont post videos that kids watch and listen 2 when u dnt even know what ur talking about

    Posted: May 23, 2010 1:55 PM
  • Peacebond

    Really enjoyed this one.

    Posted: May 20, 2010 4:40 PM
  • liarsthieves

    do da do da day blah blah blah outside weres it @ ?

    Posted: May 19, 2010 7:48 AM
  • nerdstrm

    Yeah, so the government wants retailers to act as parents because having a child who plays violent games is in some way a reflection of how society is impacted by these games in a negative and not how irresponsible and uninformed the parents are? Ha! Well that's just an attempt for society to make excuses. I thought law worked on presedence? Well, I can see nothing was learned from previous controversy regarding GTA: sanandreas. Hell, why don't we make it a law to register every (M) rated game online with a age requirement login. No wait, you can change the Parental settings on the console. LOL, oh yeah and it's up to the parents to do that! Nonsense, just don't buy those games for your kids. Gamestop checks IDs constantly. What else could be done that hasn't already been done?
    People will break laws or figure out some way around them. It's really up to the parents. What are they gonna do, throw a bunch of retailers in jail and cost us even more tax money while they wait on a court date only to get fined or receive probation? Stupid old farts! When can generation X take over? Damn I'm tired of the government messing with my fellow gamers!

    Posted: May 11, 2010 9:48 AM
  • Teletheus


    damomo is spot on with his analysis. The Fourth Amendment protects against UNREASONABLE searches and seizures. The "reasonable suspicion" standard is something that is clearly defined through a great deal of Fourth Amendment case law (much like the more severe "probable cause" standard). The Arizona law was very carefully designed to fit within that case law.

    Now, is there a possibility that the law will be ENFORCED improperly? Sure there is. But that doesn't mean that the law is racist, or that it violates the Fourth Amendment; if it happens, it means that the law enforcement officers who are enforcing the law are doing so improperly, and they will no doubt face the usual consequences if they do so(e.g., being prevented from using proverbial "fruit of the poisonous tree," or evidence obtained through illegal seizures).

    Based on the text of the law alone, it should not violate the Fourth Amendment. That's the legislature's job. Now, If the law is enforced as it is written, the enforcement will not violate the Fourth Amendment. That's the executive branch's job (which, in this case, does include police officers). If the law is enforced improperly, the courts will make sure that such enforcement is stopped and that the executive branch has a suitable incentive (such as the exclusionary rule) to prevent similar abuses in the future. That's the judicial branch's job.

    Posted: May 10, 2010 11:43 PM
  • samuuri

    also illegal immigration is costing arizona tons of money that the state doesnt have

    Posted: May 10, 2010 7:52 PM
  • samuuri

    the law that past in arizon is unfortunate but necessary. Phoenix has one of the highest crime rates in the nation due to illegal immigration and illegal drugs coming across the border into the state. the federal government isnt doing any thing to secure the borders leaving states to fend for themselves and unfortunately arizona had to pass that law. under this new law legal citizens can sue the state/officer if harrased about there citizenship, so officers have to be extremely careful and cant just pick on anyone who looks mexican

    Posted: May 10, 2010 7:49 PM
  • FuzzofPekinopolis

    I am sticking behind everything that I posted regarding illegal immigration. I'm really not sure why I kept on coming back for the punishment.

    At no time in any of my posts have I ever been profiled as an ignorant, immoral conservative.
    From: Darkstorm

    Or in fewer words, an elitist, bigot.
    From: magic1264

    I did not call anyone names or ever say that Latinos somehow tarnish the brand that is America. Instead of attacking me with all the negative energy of the Death Star. How about making valid points on how you would change the system for the better. The only arguments that you have are set in stone with no possibilities for further discussion.

    The only way that I could tell any of you agreed with me was when no negative attack came back on a point that I made. It is very hard to find middle ground when you are so involved with yourself that you cannot even say "I agree with that statement and would like to add to it." I am very open to criticism, not hatred. I do not hate and I do not except hate.

    Posted: May 10, 2010 12:28 PM
  • damomo

    I have always been a big fan of yours, and I enjoyed the soapbox.

    However, I feel that you have a misunderstanding of the Immigration law that was recently passed in Arizona. First of all, it has already been law since 1940 I believe that Immigrants to the United States be required to carry papers on them at all times.

    The fear of this law, as you suggested, is that there could be a violation of the fourth amendment and an increase in racial profiling. However, this is not the case. If you have time, I suggest you watch last week's edition of the McLaughlin Group ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =CaQKKdzqo7w&playnext_from =TL&videos=9NGgYlpfweE& ;feature=sub ). In the first few minutes, McLaughlin outlines the law and reminds viewers that:

    1) A person can only be asked for papers as a result of routine policing. A person cannot be arrested or searched based on mere suspicion that he/she is an illegal immigrant. We're talking about regular speed traps, traffic violations and other crimes here. Police will not be allowed to stop people because they are Latino under this law.

    2) Reasonable suspicion is required. No hunches or arrests on mere suspicion.

    3)It is clearly stated in the law there there will be no allowance for racial profiling.

    I understand your concerns, I really do. I am a firm believer in the constitution and I know the importance of upholding the Bill of Rights. I completely agree with you that protecting a more free spread of information of ideas and information as protected by the first amendment is incredibly important, specifically for youths in America.

    But, your concern over the fourth amendment is misplaced. Under current law there is already racial profiling by police officers. The new law might actually reduce profiling, since it is now clearly stated that there must be reasonable suspicion and racial profiling is made illegal. Remember, it is already federal law that immigrants must carry their papers. This law isn't really any different than car drivers being required to show license and registration if they are pulled over. There is no possible provision under the new law for harassment or unwarranted search and seizure.


    Posted: May 9, 2010 11:05 AM
  • Topshonuff

    Great Soapbox.. 2 thumbs up.

    Posted: May 9, 2010 10:46 AM
  • PretentiousName01

    Brb having sex in barn.

    Posted: May 8, 2010 9:21 PM
  • Vulgar_Display

    I don't understand what the problem with the law in Arizona is. Take for instance a fan running onto a baseball field during the game. They are trespassing and should not be surprised when they get taken out by the cops with a stun gun. Here's where the whole "illegal" immigrant thing comes into play. It's not offensive to arrest ILLEGAL immigrants because they are breaking the law.

    While this law isn't the best solution to the immigration problem at least someone is trying to do something about the issue. Illegals don't pay taxes and steal work from American citizens. Why are their Constitutional rights being violated when they aren't a US citizen. They need to make it far easier for immigrants to enter our country legally so they can be documented and then can be taxed like everyone else and earn their Constitutional rights.

    Posted: May 8, 2010 7:51 PM
  • Tsuiyo

    You know what we need? Another president like Andrew Jackson. you know, someone to single handedly obliterate the Bill of Rights. Detaining immigrants, forcing native americans from their land and ultimately becoming a king. We need someone like that again.

    Of course I'm not serious.

    Posted: May 8, 2010 1:09 PM
  • Lightbarier

    One thing I got to say is that I think people are confused about is the new law in Arizona. The left are screaming out that basically this law makes it so you can pull over anybody who looks like a illegal immigrant while this is not the case. The law just makes it so that anybody arrested for a crime and who happens to be an illegal immigrant just isn't thrown back into the street like they were doing before hand. So basically an officer can't come up to you and demand your proof of identity for no reason if he thinks your an illegal immigrant, if your arrested for a crime then yeah your going to get deported. I can see why people would be worried thinking that an officer might arrest someone who they think is here illegally for some stupid reason no real reason. But that going under the assumption that are government police force is filled with nothing but racist no offense intended.

    Posted: May 8, 2010 12:00 PM
  • cs22

    Sess - on the AZ law, you should actually read it. The law demands that (a) the person being asked to prove their citizenship has ALREADY BEEN STOPPED FOR SOME OTHER VIOLATION OF THE LAW and (b) that the police officer can show, IN COURT, that race/religion/national origin is not the reason for stopping them. And, while it may not be the best course of action, what choice does AZ have? They are being overrun by illegal immigrants, many of which are members of border gangs and drug cartels....

    Posted: May 8, 2010 8:42 AM
  • SWAT1109

    adam i agree arizonas law is bs and i believe that games are protected by freedom of speech. games are falsly accused of many things and it would be nice to put a stop to it all. Also as for the ESRB ratings i think there fine the way they are they dont need to be lessenforced or more enforced there good the way they are.

    Posted: May 7, 2010 6:48 PM