US Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing Materials

Hearing Wednesday, March 29: What’s in a Game? State Regulation of Violent Video Games and the First Amendment

Official Session Transcript

Statements submitted for the record:

Panel #1: Science & Effects

Statement of Rev. Steve Strickland

Statement of Elizabeth Carll

Oral Statement of Dmitri WilliamsWritten Statement

Statement of David Bickham

Panel #2: First Amendment Issues

Statement of Pat Vance, ESRB

Statement of Rep. Jeff Johnson, Minn. House of Rep.

Statement of Paul Smith

Statement of Kevin Saunders

ESA v Blagojevich materials

(The Illinois video game legislation case)

These are publicly available materials compiled here for research and teaching purposes by
Dmitri Williams, Associate Professor, USC Annenberg School of Communication

Files and chronology

Background — the law was passed by the Illinois legislature and was immediately challenged by the ESA and other merchant groups. This process began with the filing of this compliant: Complaint. (pdf, 871k)
The complaint was supported by this motion: Motion in support of preliminary injunction. (pdf, 1886k)
The State then issued a motion opposing the injunction (no longer available)
Experts provided declarations in support of the various sides. In regards to media violence and social psychology, two were Craig Anderson’s (pdf, 218k) for the State and Dmitri Williams’ (Word file, 125k) for the ESA. There were also experts testifying from neuroscience in regards to MRI evidence.
The court then issued the preliminary injunction, setting the stage for a hearing.The State issued this statement in reply to the injunction. State’s reply to injunction. (pdf, 211k)
In advance of the hearing, depositions were taken from expert witnesses. These witnesses were hired by either the ESA or the State. The deposition of Craig Anderson (pdf, 194k). The deposition of Kronenberger (MRI witness) (Word file, 845k). The deposition of Dmitri Williams (pdf, 438k). Note, this is an uncorrected version. Corrections errata file (Word file, 38k)
The hearing then took place over three days.
The judge then issued an opinion, throwing out the law as both unconstitutional and not supported by the science to date.  Opinion
Other related files:Jeffrey Goldstein’s declaration (pdf, 1356) from the Washington case (Illinois file unavailable). It’s similar to the IL version, but not identical.