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Utah Politician Admits Game Legislation Defeat

| 29 Jun 2011 18:15
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The man who introduced a bill written by Jack Thompson has decided that it's not worth trying to defend the law's constitutionality after the SCOTUS verdict.

This week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling was a serious blow to several politicians who have tried to/are still planning to restrict the sales of violent videogames across the country. One notable effect, though, is that a Utah politico has announced he will not pursue a similar law he attempted to pass in his state back in 2008, even though he feels his bill was very different from the one drafted by Senator Leland Yee.

Rep. Michael Morley (R-Spanish Fork, Utah) was interviewed by the Deseret News, where he opened up about his own law and his abandonment of it. Morley's law (which was actually authored by infamous disbarred attorney Jack Thompson) didn't impose a fine on retailers who sold M-rated games to kids; it did give parents the power to file a lawsuit against the store, under a claim of false advertising. However, even though both houses passed the bill, Governor Jon Hunstman Jr. vetoed it and was backed by the state's attorney general because of concerns about how these lawsuits would affect local businesses and how the bill would impede free speech rights.

Even though Morley still defends (and believes in the constitutionality) his failed piece of legislation, he explained that he's not planning to pursue getting the law passed. "It's not on my radar to fight that fight," he stated.

Of course, other politicians and groups in Utah are less-than-thrilled about the Supreme Court decision and the fact that Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff refused to "protect Utah's children from ... violent video games."

On Monday, the Utah Eagle Forum blasted Shurtleff for supporting the Supreme Court's decision, and for failing to protect Utah's children from violent images depicted in some video games.

Shurtleff said that any form of government intervention into our lives should be considered with care and that he encourages parents to take an active role in what movies, music or video games they buy and play. "To say that he's anti-family, that's just ignorant," said Scott Troxel, spokesman for the attorney general. Troxel said protecting children has been the focus of Shurtleff's administration

Of course, readers shouldn't be surprised to hear about the Eagle Forum's bashing of Shurtleff. This isn't the first time the group's tried to sully the man's reputation, and it stands to reason that it won't be the last time they try to do so. Or, y'know, make ignorant statements.

Source: Deseret News via GamePolitics

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