California spent a whole lot of money trying to keep its kids away from violent videogames.

Remember the huge and ultimately inconsequential legal effort over limiting the sale of violent videogames in California? Lawmakers in the Sunshine State certainly do: 

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown, governor and attorney general at the time, supported appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court despite the state’s 2009 fiscal crisis and defeats in two lower courts.

“It was an important issue to the governor,” said Andrea Hoch, who was Schwarzenegger’s legal affairs secretary and now an appellate court judge. “It was something he felt strongly about.”

The tactic backfired when the Supreme Court rejected the appeal, 7-2, forcing the state to pick up the video game industry’s legal costs.

“I think we felt the issue was so important that it warranted the costs associated with it,” said Jim Humes, Brown’s chief deputy at the time and now his executive secretary.

Humes said it is rare for California to appeal cases to the U.S. Supreme Court. Of tens of thousands of cases each year that the state is involved in, perhaps dozens are appealed, and the court grants review in just a few, he said.

I don’t want to be one of the gloating gamers grinning over an “I told you so” moment like this, but don’t you think that such a massive state with a recent history of budget crises has better ways to spend its money, particularly as far as children are concerned?

Yannick LeJacq

[via STL Today]