The Court rose for the summer today, but before doing so it issued the final opinions from OT10.  (Details on all of today's opinions are available here). In particular, two of today's decisions "“ involving the constitutionality of a law prohibiting the sale or rental of violent video games to minors and a challenge to Arizona's campaign-finance regulations "“ have have already generated a lot of coverage.  This round-up focuses on early coverage of those two decisions; we will have more coverage, plus coverage of today's other decisions and orders, tomorrow.

The Chief Justice announced the last opinion of the Term this morning, in Arizona Free Enterprise Club v. Bennett (consolidated with McComish v. Bennett). By a vote of five to four, the Court held that Arizona's matching funds scheme, which provides additional funds to a publicly funded candidate when expenditures by a privately financed candidate and independent groups exceed the funding initially allotted to the publicly financed candidate, substantially burdens political speech and is not sufficiently justified by a compelling interest to survive First Amendment scrutiny. The New York Times has a "Room for Debate" on the decision, featuring posts by election-law specialists.  Coverage  of the decision also appears at  USA Today, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Atlantic and the Atlantic Wire, Bloomberg, the National Review Online, Reuters, the Huffington Post, and the ABA Journal, Devlin Barrett writes for the Wall Street Journal blog Metropolis on how the ruling may affect New York's campaign finance law.  Early commentary has started to trickle in as well.  Ilya Shapiro weighs in on the decision at Cato@Liberty, arguing that the result should have "been obvious to the entire Court."  And in an op-ed for the New Republic, Rick Hasen outlines what he characterizes as the good news coming out of the Court's opinion:  "we may not be seeing the full end of campaign finance law, at least not yet, and Justice Kagan has shown that the other side won't go down without a fight."

The Court also issued its opinion today in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association. In an opinion by Justice Scalia, the Court "“ by a vote of seven to two "“ held that the California law limiting the sale of violent video games to minors is unconstitutional because it imposes a restriction on the content of protected speech and cannot satisfy strict scrutiny. Lyle Denniston covered the decision for this blog, while Nina Totenberg discusses the decision for NPR.  The Los Angeles Times (twice), Slate, the Associated Press (again via the Washington Post),  the San Francisco Chronicle, Politico,  and a slew of gamer-media "“ including Nintendo World Report and Time's Techland "“ all have coverage as well.  USA Today's Game Hunters and Giant Bomb have reactions from the law's author, California state senator Leland Yee.  Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal's Health Blog looks at the decision from the mental-health perspective.  Here, too, commentators and editorial boards have already begun to analyze the decision.  Writing for the Atlantic, Andrew Cohen describes the decision as having "once again brought out the latent parent in Justice Samuel Alito," while Ilya Shapiro of Cato@Liberty characterizes the opinion as an "epic win for the First Amendment."  And the editorial board of the Christian Science Monitor weighs in on the decision, emphasizing that "it's clear that the issue of reining in media violence is far from over. The scales of justice are still swinging despite this decision."

Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Kali Borkoski, Evening round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 27, 2011, 9:00 PM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2011/06/evening-round-up-2/