California would end up with a hefty bill following its failed attempt at anti-violent game legislation, and it could hit tax payers somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.8 million in attorney fees alone.
According to a report from the Sacramento Bee, as per ArsTechnica, the state has had to pay $300,000 to the industry’s defense lawyers, $500,000 to its own attorneys, and has already paid the ESA $950,000 to cover its legal costs in fighting SCOTUS.
Despite the massive expense, sponsors of the bill believe it was still worth the cash it in the end.
“When you fight the good fight for a cause you know is right and just, and it’s about protecting kids, you don’t ever regret that,” bill sponsor Leland Yee (R) told The Bee. “I think we felt the issue was so important that it warranted the costs associated with it,” added Jim Humes, the state’s former deputy attorney general.
Still, others believe the legislation was a failure before it was even brought before the Supreme Court, and industry officials tried to warn those who drafted and supported it that a “big legal mess” was in the cards and the state would end up paying all the supporting attorney fees.
The court ruled that game under California law were protected by the First Amendment, and stuck down the legislation, as predicted.
“The question was: Should the court be treating violent video games as it treats pornography, allowing some reasonable restrictions to the access of minors to see that stuff?” said Humes. “We thought it was a legitimate issue for the court.”