Chicago Transit Authority Ordered To Stop Banning Video Game Ads

by Phil Kollar on Jan 08, 2010 at 09:13 AM

It's been nearly two years since the Chicago Transit Authority caused a scandal by pulling ads for Grand Theft Auto IV from buses in Chicago and just over a year since the CTA announced that no future M-rated games would be advertised in the same way. The Entertainment Software Association responded with a lawsuit calling the decision a violation of the constitution. Today, an Illinois judge has sided with the ESA in an early decision.

According to a press release put out by the ESA today, a judge has granted the organization a preliminary injunction in their lawsuit. Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer explained her decision: "The advertisements the CTA wishes to ban promote expression that has constitutional value and implicates core First Amendment concerns."

ESA president Michael Gallagher offered his take on the decision: "This ruling is a win for Chicago's citizens, the video game industry, and, above all, the First Amendment. It is our hope that the CTA sees the futility of pursuing this case further. To do so will waste taxpayer money and government resources. Chicago deserves better and we look forward to bringing this matter to an end."

While this is not a final decision on the case, the preliminary injunction means that the Chicago Transit Authority must begin once again accepting M-rated game advertising until a decision has been reached. It also clearly shows what direction the judge is leaning heading into the case, which would cause the CTA to stop moving forward before having to spend more money.