ESA confident its case was heard in Supreme Court argument

Following today's oral arguments session in the U.S. Supreme Court case Schwarzenegger v. EMA, representatives from the Entertainment Software Association (they're on the EMA side) held a conference call to discuss how they thought things went. ESA president Michael Gallagher was optimistic, saying, "Today was a historic day, not only for the computer and video game industry, but for the First Amendment." He added, "I think that in court today, you heard every single argument the industry has made, articulated not just by Paul [Smith] ... but by the justices themselves."

"ESA is very, very proud of the work that was done by Paul," Gallagher said. "The argument today was very lively, the justices were very informed and the dialogue clearly established that video games are entitled to the same treatment as movies, music, books and other forms of entertainment."

Jenner and Block counsel of record Paul Smith, who presented the EMA's arguments during today's hearings, was similarly optimistic. He offered his opinion that the representative from California's arguments didn't satisfy the "strict scrutiny" requirements needed to revoke video games' First Amendment protections. He added, "Though there's obviously a great deal of complexity in the whole thing -- and it's very difficult to come away knowing with any sense of confidence where the court's going to come down specifically -- we do feel pretty good about having all of our arguments aired, and getting a lot of traction."

ESA general counsel and senior vice president Kenneth Doroshow echoed Smith's confidence, saying, "It was gratifying to hear all of the themes we had presented in our papers echoed by one or more justices at various times throughout the day. We feel very confident that our case was heard as thoroughly and carefully as it can be."

"There's really no way to know for sure how this is going to come out," Doroshow said, "but we at least feel good that the best case possible was put forward for the industry and our position."