In Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association, the U.S. Supreme Court will address whether the First Amendment bars the state of California from restricting the sale of violent video games to minors. This year’s Silha Lecturer, Paul Smith, will argue on behalf of the video game dealers’ group in that case. Smith’s lecture, titled “Not Child’s Play: The Misguided Effort to Regulate Violent Video Games” will take place on Monday, Oct. 18, 2010.
The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals struck down the California statute in February 2009, ruling that it was a constitutionally invalid content-based restriction on speech. The 9th Circuit ruling is Video Software Dealers Association v. Schwarzenegger, 556 F.3d 950, (9th Cir. 2009). At the 25th Annual Silha Lecture, Smith will discuss the constitutional challenges to regulating the media that minors consume and the case law precedent that could influence the future of those regulations.
Paul Smith is a partner in Jenner & Block’s Washington, D.C. office and a member of the firm’s Policy Committee. He is also Chair of the firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court, Creative Content, and First Amendment practices. Smith has had an active Supreme Court practice for many years, making oral arguments in 13 cases, including Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003) and United States v. American Library Ass’n, 539 U.S. 194 (2003). Smith also represents various clients in trial and appellate cases involving commercial and telecommunications issues, the First Amendment, intellectual property, and election law.
Smith graduated from Amherst College and Yale Law School, and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell. In 2008, Legal Times listed him as one of 30 “Champions” of the past 30 years in Washington, D.C., honoring attorneys who uphold the profession’s core values of public duty and client service. In 2010, the National Law Journal named him one of the decade’s 40 most influential lawyers.
The Silha Lecture begins at 7:00 p.m. in Cowles Auditorium at the Hubert H. Humphrey Center on the West Bank Campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and will include an opportunity for audience Q&A. The event is free and open to the public. No reservations or tickets are required.
The Silha Center is based at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. Silha Center activities, including the 25th annual lecture, are made possible by a generous endowment from the late Otto Silha and his wife, Helen.
- Sara Cannon
Silha Center Staff