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Supreme Court Sides With Constitution. Tells Nanny State to Take A Hike.

The Supreme Court published its opinion in BROWN v. ENTERTAINMENT MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION saying that the state of California had no Constitutional right to restrict the sale of “violent” video games to minors.

The court correctly found that the state of California had no Constitutional basis for restricting the sale of “violent video games” without showing genuine harm to minors. In his majority opinion, Justice Scalia noted that while there might be evidence of a correlation of violence in minors and video games, there is no evidence that video games caused the violence. Because there is no factual assertion that video games cause violence or injuries, California’s law was in fact a restriction of the First Amendment.

Of the decision, California State Senator Senator Leland Yee, who represents San Francisco and San Mateo counties said,

“Unfortunately, the majority of the Supreme Court once again put the interests of corporate America before the interests of our children,” said the law’s author, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco). “As a result of their decision, Wal-Mart and the video game industry will continue to make billions of dollars at the expense of our kids’ mental health and the safety of our community. It is simply wrong that the video game industry can be allowed to put their profit margins over the rights of parents and the well-being of children.”


Of course, Yee is wrong. Many stores have in place a system where only adults may rent or purchase games with a “M” rating. WalMart is one of those companies. The companies reacted to concerns of parents and consumers in making their decision. This resulted in the free market – not the government – deciding what they would do. People like Yee clearly believe that wrongfully demonizing stores such as WalMart will score him points with the electorate. But Yee also believes that people – parents – are not smart enough or savvy enough to monitor what their child does. He believes that what a child sees, hears, and learns must be approved by the government. Yee is perfectly willing to step on parental rights and the Constitution.

That is the way of the nanny state. The government – and only the government – knows what is best for you and your children.

The opinion was joined by Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Justices Breyer and Thomas dissented for differing reasons. Of the two, we find Thomas’ the most puzzling. In his dissent he writes:

The historical evidence shows that the founding generation believed parents had absolute authority over their minor children and expected parents to use that authority to direct the proper development of their chil-dren.

We agree. It is the parents’ rights and responsibility to have absolute authority of their minor children. It is not the state’s responsibility to interfere or establish laws that interfere with that “absolute authority.”

Yet Thomas believes that the government must determine what is “violent” or “acceptable” to a child before the law of what can be sold to a minor applies.

In other words, Thomas says that while the right of the parent to teach their child is absolute, it is up to the state to say what the parent can teach or allow.

That is a contradiction.

There is a light here that we should grasp onto. While we disagree with his conclusion in this case, we agree with Thomas’ premise that the right of the parent to raise and train their child is absolute. This would allow parents to opt out of school classes they find are against the teachings – moral or otherwise – of the parent. For years we have heard and courts have upheld that in education, parents do not have the right to determine what their child shall be exposed to. Even if the teaching of the school is morally repugnant to the idea and principles the parent is trying to impart to their child, the state can compel the child to learn, demonstrate and be tested upon the teaching that is contrary to the parents wishes.

The Supreme Court also announced that it will hear a case with great implications to the freedoms of Americans. The case will involve whether law enforcement must obtain a warrant to place a GPS tracking device on a person’s car or not.

Supreme Court will set rules for warrantless GPS tracking

The U.S. Supreme Court today agreed to hear a lawsuit that will determine whether police need to obtain a judge’s approval before installing GPS trackers on Americans’ automobiles.

A ruling, which is expected by next year, will establish whether a warrant signed by a judge is required before law enforcement can engage in the intrusive practice of tracking a driver’s every move on the roads. The Obama administration argues that no warrant is needed.

Lower courts have been all over the board on this one, including a ridiculous ruling out of the Ninth Circuit which held that the DEA planting a GPS tracking device on a man’s car in his driveway did not violate the Fourth Amendment as the man did not have any reasonable expectation of privacy.

In his car.

Sitting beside his house.

On his own property.

Yeah, that makes a whole lot of sense.

We can argue certain provisions of the Patriot Act and how they may or may not apply to non-citizens, but there is no doubt in reasonable people’s minds that placing a tracking device on a car by coming onto a person’s property is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Which is why, of course, the Obama administration is arguing for being allowed to do that very thing.

So the next time you hear Obama talking about how oppressive and evil Republicans and conservatives are, remember that those same Republicans and conservatives are against allowing law enforcement onto your property to place a device to track your every movement without a warrant.



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