WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court took no action Monday on a request for $1.4 million in attorneys' fees and expenses by the video game industry.
The industry won its case before the high court in June when the justices struck down California's ban on the sale of violent video games to minors on free-speech grounds.
Instead of dealing with the request, SCOTUSBLOG.com reported, the Supreme Court referred it to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in California, which could grant or refuse the request.
The state law, with its fine of as much as $1,000 for each violation, was challenged by groups representing the video-game and software industries. A federal judge said the law violated the First Amendment, and issued an injunction against its implementation. A federal appeals court agreed.
A majority of the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with the lower courts. An opinion filed by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia said: "Video games qualify for First Amendment protection. Like protected books, plays, and movies, they communicate ideas through familiar literary devices and features distinctive to the medium."
Citing Supreme Court precedent, the opinion said "the basic principles of freedom of speech ... do not vary" with a new and different communication medium."
One of the two dissenters, Justice Stephen Breyer, said, "In my view, the First Amendment does not disable government from helping parents make ... a choice here -- a choice not to have their children buy extremely violent, interactive video games, which they more than reasonably fear pose only the risk of harm to those children."