Refusing to accede to a popular but pointless and probably unconstitutional exercise of governmental power, Utah Gov. John Huntsman yesterday vetoed a bill to create penalties for retailers who sell video games recommended for adults to minors.
Even the bill’s sponsors conceded that in its final form the bill was basically worthless policy-wise: in an apparent effort to aid the provision's prospects of withstanding a court challenge the Utah legislature added a loophole allowing retailers to avoid penalties just by covering up or removing the ESRB rating stickers on game cases. But it seems that proponents still kept pushing the bill because of the standard urge to “send a message,” in this case that violent video games are bad, legal bills from defending the measure in court be dammed.
The pundit class has speculated about Huntsman as a potential contender for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. Can’t say I’ve read a great deal about him before this, but this certainly makes a good first impression.