The Term’s Most Interesting Case?

That may be Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Assn, the case on violent video games.  It produced surely the most interesting array of voting blocs, with Justice Scalia writing for Kennedy, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan; Chief Justice Roberts joining Justice Alito’s concurrence in the judgment; and Justices Thomas and Breyer each dissenting separately, though nodding in one another’s direction approvingly.

I find the opinions by Justices Alito and Thomas to be the most thoughtful, and the soundest on the Constitution.  Justice Scalia’s opinion is, uncharacteristically, intellectually thin gruel, salted too heavily with reliance on precedents which, on his best days, Scalia would scoff at.  For interesting takes on the issues in the case, I recommend Peter Berkowitz at today’s Wall Street Journal (behind paywall) and two pieces posted at First Things today, by Archbishop Charles Chaput and Gregory K. Laughlin (who had me right up to an unconvincing final paragraph).

I just now noticed that FT has posted a third piece, by Robert T. Miller, taking Scalia’s side in the case.  Must read that too, but what Scalia couldn’t manage, will Miller?

Update: The answer to my final question is no.

Matthew J. Franck — Matthew J. Franck is the Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey.

Most Popular


Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More