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US court issues temporary block on Louisiana games law

Louisiana's controversial videogames law has been blocked by the District Court, Judge James Brady issuing a temporary injunction preventing the law from taking effect until the ESA's lawsuit can be heard.

Louisiana's controversial videogames bill has been blocked by the District Court after Judge James Brady issued a temporary injunction preventing the law from taking effect until the ESA's lawsuit can be heard.

According to a report in The Advocate newspaper, Judge Brady has set a hearing date for June 27th in Baton Rouge, temporarily blocking the law from taking effect in the interim - a move which echoes the ESA's victory against a similar legislative effort in Michigan last year.

Co-authored by attorney and staunch anti-games campaigner Jack Thompson, the proposal was signed into law last week by Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco.

Trade bodies the Entertainment Software Association and the Entertainment Merchants Association immediately filed a lawsuit to seek an overturning of the law on the grounds of infringement of First Amendment rights.

US website Gamepolitics.com has published a copy of the Louisiana lawsuit, which alleges that "The Act violates the First Amendment and other provisions of the United States Constitution by imposing criminal penalties on the sale or rental of videogames based solely on a game's purportedly 'violent' content."

Given the lack of evidentiary support for the harmful effects of violent videogames on minors and the clear infringement on First Amendment rights to freedom of expression, it is highly likely that the Louisiana law will be struck down when the hearing takes place next week.

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