The high-profile case of Brown v. EMA may be decided, but the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) still has to pay those pesky legal fees. For that, the ESA argues, the state of California should foot the bill to the tune of $1.1 million. The organization announced today that it has filed a request for attorneys' fees with the U.S. Supreme Court.
The ESA's claim is pretty straight-forward, as a snippet of the filing shows: "California persisted in defending a law that Plaintiffs warned the Legislature was unconstitutional before it was passed; that was previously found to be unconstitutional by the district court and a unanimous panel of the Ninth Circuit; and that is similar to at least eight other laws invalidated as unconstitutional prior to the time that California sought certiorari in this case."
It seems like a sound argument, especially since the SCOTUS has already agreed that the law is unconstitutional. Proving that California had ample warning that the law would ultimately be struck down could go a long way in getting the ESA's money back. It certainly wouldn't be unprecedented, as the state of California previously had to pay $282,794 (of the requested $324,840) for attorney fees after the case failed at the state level.
"We look forward to moving forward and working together to raise awareness about the valuable tools and information available to parents," said ESA CEO Michael Gallagher. "From the start of this misguided legislation, then-Governor Schwarzenegger and specific California legislators knew their efforts to censor and restrict expression were, as court after court ruled, unconstitutional and thus a waste of taxpayers' money, government time, and state resources."