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Supreme Court Declines Jack Thompson Appeal 100

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-the-hint dept.
eldavojohn writes "Jack Thompson was disbarred last year in Florida, putting a halt to annoying lawsuits targeting game makers and the constitutional rights of gamers. Well, he had appealed to the United States Supreme Court (scheduled to be heard last Friday) to get this overturned, but instead they declined to even hear his appeal. They wouldn't even give him the time to review his appeal, so it appears his disbarment for life stands. Florida had declined to file a response to Thompson's appeal, and it turns out they didn't need to. Sad day for Jack Thompson, but a great day for gamers everywhere." This comes shortly after Thompson was frustrated by the vetoing of some legislation he promoted in Utah.
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Supreme Court Declines Jack Thompson Appeal

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  • He'll Be Back (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gbulmash (688770) * <semi_famous@yaho ... m minus math_god> on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @12:14AM (#27671123) Homepage Journal
    The problem with zealots and fanatics is that these kinds of setbacks only help to make them believe that they just need to fight harder. It's a sad, sick feedback loop where defeat reinforces their mania instead of chipping away at it. I seriously doubt this is the last we'll hear of Jack Thompson. He'll just come up with new and creative ways to be a thorn in the side of gamers and freethinkers.

    Just because he's disbarred, he can still find some rich, old lonely lady to fund his evil plans... much like Lex Luthor did in Superman Returns. But seriously, even though he's not a lawyer anymore, that doesn't stop him from getting one to act as his proxy. He just needs to find another manically deluded soul who either has a law degree or the money to pay for lawyers, and he'll be back.
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @12:19AM (#27671161) Journal
      He'll probably just turn to violence, and blame it all on video games once captured.
    • I think you seriously over estimate the man.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by StreetStealth (980200)

        You're probably right. While credibility may not be a huge obstacle to appearing on the likes of Fox News, his disbarment, continued absurdist hijinks, and now this have probably dipped him below the mark where he's likely to be picked up by "news programs" as a "school shooting expert" or other disturbing titles in the future.

        He still has an audience, no doubt, but by this point it's probably nearing the contemporary size of the Uri Geller faithful.

    • by Chees0rz (1194661)
      For some reason this made me think of Rudy Ruettiger... how I hate that movie...
    • Re:He'll Be Back (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Narpak (961733) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @12:41AM (#27671283)

      He'll just come up with new and creative ways to be a thorn in the side of gamers and freethinkers. ... He just needs to find another manically deluded soul who either has a law degree or the money to pay for lawyers, and he'll be back.

      While this might be true at least he is no longer allowed to use his status as a lawyer to harass people. And further more any lawyer that would act on his behalf risks equal punishment. In fact, if any lawyers are out there that want to work with him and use illegal and unethical acts to support cases based upon false accusations, unsubstantiated research and anecdotal evidence; then by all means I hope they all join hands and march into disbarment under his banner. Though more likely any lawyer who wish to have a career and a reputation, beyond any sort of misguided personal crusade, will avoid him like the plague.

      Perhaps Jack Thomson will be back, and perhaps he will continue to cause noise regarding video games, but his disbarment, and the public airing of some of the things he did to deserve that disbarment; means that very few with grievances against the video game industry will want to be associated with him. Prohibiting him from practising law should hopefully be a warning to others that if they wish to present a case against something; then that case should be based upon reason and respect. And not lower themselves to such vile acts as Thomson engaged in.

      I am saddened that serious matters are distracted from by someone such as he. I enjoy video games, but I think there is reason to debate and research the effects of gaming (and for that matter TV and other medias) effect on children and adolescents. Audiovisual media with interactive components have a massive potential to affect the mental development of children; for good or bad. Understanding how and why is important. Unfortunately self-righteous people like mister Thomson are on both sides of these issues and they continue to validate the existence of their counterparts.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DustyShadow (691635)

        While this might be true at least he is no longer allowed to use his status as a lawyer to harass people.

        It's actually against the legal rules of ethics for attorneys to harass people. Although I haven't read the details on why he was disbarred, I am willing to bet that had a lot to do with it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Narpak (961733)
          Quote from wikipedia: [wikipedia.org]

          "In February 2007, The Florida Bar filed disbarment proceedings against Thompson over allegations of professional misconduct. The action was the result of separate grievances filed by people claiming that Thompson made defamatory, false statements and attempted to humiliate, embarrass, harass or intimidate them. According to the complaint, Thompson accused Alberto Cardenas of "distribution of pornography to children," claimed that the Alabama judge presiding over the Devin Moore case "breaks the rules, even the Alabama State Bar Rules, because he thinks that the rules don't apply to him," and sent a letter to Blank Rome's managing partner, saying, "Your law firm has actively and knowingly facilitated by various means the criminal distribution of sexual material to minors." Thompson claims that the complaints violate state religious protections because his advocacy is motivated by his Christian faith"

          • OH! I see now. The problem wasn't that he was harrassing people, it was that he was harrassing *other lawyers*. No wonder he got disbarred. I was about to say how could that be a disbarring offense, as it's nothing new and a lot of lawyers wouldn't keep their license more than a few years.
      • by Ogive17 (691899)

        While this might be true at least he is no longer allowed to use his status as a lawyer to harass people. And further more any lawyer that would act on his behalf risks equal punishment. In fact, if any lawyers are out there that want to work with him and use illegal and unethical acts to support cases based upon false accusations, unsubstantiated research and anecdotal evidence; then by all means I hope they all join hands and march into disbarment under his banner.

        Hmm, where have I heard this scenario be

      • Unfortunately self-righteous people like mister Thomson are on both sides of these issues and they continue to validate the existence of their counterparts.

        That's a lot like South Park's Mister Mackey doing more to encourage drug use than to discourage it. Anti-games activists would do better to somehow convince Thompson to join the pro-violence side so that he would get people to rethink their positions about the free availability of GTA games.

      • You don't have to be a lawyer to sue somebody - he can still do that. What it does interfere with is whether he can sue somebody on behalf of a client, as opposed to being the plaintiff himself (or one of the lead plaintiffs in a class action.) He doesn't even need to have a lawyer, and he's already no stranger to having a fool for a client, though it's possible he can come up with some sucker who'll represent him for a share of the take without an upfront payment, or some political action group that'll f

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Seriously? Jack Thompson has to be, officially, the least relevant human being the world. He's had his shit pushed in by virtually every court he's seen the inside of.

      He's fucking finished.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by indi0144 (1264518)

        <quote>He's fucking finished</quote>

        or

        FINISH HIM!
        (distant moans)
        Gamers WIN!
      • Seriously? Jack Thompson has to be, officially, the least relevant human being the world.

        You're right about that. It appears he hasn't won a single victory in court in his crusade (unless you count getting attention a victory). Most of the other pro-censorship voices have distanced themselves from him because he clearly is off his rocker. He was also never the most dangerous when it came to people or organizations advocating censorship in games.

        In tragedies where someone who plays games is responsible, games get blamed by the media. Just a few weeks ago I read a 10 year old jumped off a roo

    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by plover (150551) *

      Oh, absolutely. Next stop: the U.S. House of Representatives. He just has to carpetbag his way around the country until he finds some particularly gullible district and start selling them locally with his trash talk. If he keeps a low profile by making only local appearances and speeches, and picks his battle against an opponent so stupid that he or she doesn't discover his background, he might not rise to enough prominence to be outed by the national media until it's too late.

      If we have districts fu

      • by Foobar of Borg (690622) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @12:57AM (#27671359)

        If we have districts full of Americans that are stupid enough to elect a convicted felon or a deceased candidate

        Well, in all fairness, the deceased candidate was running against John Ashcroft. Who do you elect, a corpse or John Ashcroft? Not much of a contest really.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by clarkkent09 (1104833) *
          Yeah, but what if every congressional district did that: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0317676/ [imdb.com]
        • Well, in all fairness, the deceased candidate was running against John Ashcroft. Who do you elect, a corpse or John Ashcroft? Not much of a contest really.

          In retrospect, we really should have elected the corpse of John Ashcroft. Then maybe Bush wouldn't have appointed him.

          Anyway, Missouri likes to elect dead candidates
          http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/weird/NATLMayor-Dies-Wins-Re-election.html [nbcnewyork.com]

          • We couldn't have elected the corpse of Ashcroft - he's Not Dead Yet, and even now he still won't get on the cart. But I would have happily had Richard Nixon back rather than George W. Bush, and the fact that Nixon was already dead doesn't change that...

        • Re: Ashcroft (Score:2, Insightful)

          by rksrb (818209)
          While I don't agree with anything else that he stands for, he did say "NO!" from his hospital bed when George W. sent Gonzo to renew the approval for the ongoing warrentless wiretapping. I do respect him for that.
      • by ameyer17 (935373)

        Except if he is actually stupid enough to run, I'm pretty sure someone will point out his past to his opponent. And it's not like a quick Google search won't find any dirt.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        If we have districts full of Americans that are stupid enough to elect a convicted felon or a deceased candidate, we surely have some that will elect a disbarred lawyer.

        Don't be such a bigot. What, just because you're batshit insane, made some bad choices in your life or happen to be dead, you should be barred from a career in politics?

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Opportunist (166417)

          because you're batshit insane, made some bad choices in your life or happen to be dead, you should be barred from a career in politics

          One is enough?

          Damn, congress would have to leave in alphabetical order to avoid clogging the exits!

        • by NevarMore (248971)

          Have you ever run for office?

          If you had you'd know that by entering in to politics at all you've already met the requirements for the first two. After a few weeks campaigning you'll want to make the third one happen.

        • Oh hell no. Just ask Michelle Bachmann.
      • by db32 (862117)
        You do understand that the difference between a convicted felon and any other politician is one of them has been caught. So a convicted felon is the better choice because we know we can catch him. As far as the corpse...shall we review who the corpse was running against? I would vote for a dead guy any day over that loon.
    • Forget it, he's done. He spent all his sanity long ago and he has nothing left but fumes of paranoia. Without his honor no one will listen to him. The talk shows aren't exactly scrambling to find disbarred lawyers to consult or interview.

      • Oh, I bet Springer and similar quality talk shows wouldn't mind.

        I even guess the audience would have the perfect level of intelligence to understand his arguments.

        I could also see him as a talk show host. Why not? There's plenty of wackos and nutjobs on talk radio, you think we'd notice one more?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by afidel (530433)
      What lawyer would work with him? Seriously would YOU risk your livelyhood on someone so bad at what you do that he got permanently banned from the field?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cdrudge (68377)

        For the right price, someone will join up with them. If there is one Jack Thompson, there are others that just haven't been identified yet.

    • I seriously doubt this is the last we'll hear of Jack Thompson

      Jack Thompson's antics has already discredited him as a lawyer (at least where it matters). This news is not important to the gaming industry in any significant manner.

      The fundamental question of whether video gaming will be regulated by the right is not a matter of Jack Thompson, but in how the US constitution is upheld by the powers that be.

    • by Haeleth (414428)

      Excellent. More hilarous deluded rants to enjoy, and more righteous thrashing from courts that understand what the US constitution means.

      The people in power have repeatedly shown that they don't take fanatics like Thompson any more seriously than we do. So let him rant. If anything, he helps the cause of free speech, by discrediting the opposition. ;)

    • Jack is a bit like a comic villain from the old Batman series. A bit inapt, a bit scary, a bit maniac and so insanely over the top. All he really needs is some funnily clothed henchmen and we're set.

      And just like them, he comes back once in a while, but we all know that his schemes, even when everyone suddenly loves him again despite what he did before, will eventually fail. But it's a really cool thrill 'til then.

      Well, at least it was when I was a kid. Now it's mostly comic relief. I mean, when you compare

    • The problem with zealots and fanatics is that these kinds of setbacks only help to make them believe that they just need to fight harder.

      Maybe so, but it doesn't matter much when the zealot/fanatic in question is being reduced to the status of a lunatic ranting on the streetcorner. He's done.

    • The problem with zealots and fanatics is that these kinds of setbacks only help to make them believe that they just need to fight harder. It's a sad, sick feedback loop where defeat reinforces their mania instead of chipping away at it. I seriously doubt this is the last we'll hear of Jack Thompson. He'll just come up with new and creative ways to be a thorn in the side of gamers and freethinkers.

      What you have just said could be reworded, with very little effort, to describe Richard M Stallman. While I can'

    • by ultranova (717540)

      I seriously doubt this is the last we'll hear of Jack Thompson. He'll just come up with new and creative ways to be a thorn in the side of gamers and freethinkers.

      Actually, it has been argued that Thompson is helping gamers, by being so clearly insane that he gives anti-game people a bad name, a bit like a non-religious version of Jack Chick or Fred Phelps.

    • He's already responded, and reassured us all the show will continue:

      In response to [GamePolitics'] speculation that "the... decision almost certainly ends Thompson's fight to have his permanent disbarment overturned," - Not at all. I have four more options, all better than this one. This was the longest of shots. All four of the others are much, much shorter shots. Stay tuned. As Winston Churchill implored: "Never give in. Never, never, never, never, never."

      http://kotaku.com/5223111/supreme-court-on- [kotaku.com]
  • by gcnaddict (841664) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @12:17AM (#27671143)
    Just stop posting stories about him. Stop posting anything which would give him any attention at all unless it's about something which really is a threat. In that case, spread the word high and low to kill whatever the threat may be.

    The less attention you guys personally give him, the more neglected he'll feel and the less of an attention whore he might become. Granted, this might not work, but it's better than talking about every major event in his life.
    • by rob1980 (941751) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @12:22AM (#27671185)
      The less attention you guys personally give him, the more neglected he'll feel and the less of an attention whore he might become.

      Or he'll step up his efforts and when there are no sane people to keep his outlandish behavior in check, he'll be one step closer to getting his way. Jack Thompson isn't some anonymous coward you can filter out of a discussion thread just because you think he's a troll - as long as he's loud enough to get legislation on the table for discussion, he's somebody you need to keep an eye on.
      • Or he'll step up his efforts and when there are no sane people to keep his outlandish behavior in check, he'll be one step closer to getting his way. Jack Thompson isn't some anonymous coward you can filter out of a discussion thread just because you think he's a troll - as long as he's loud enough to get legislation on the table for discussion, he's somebody you need to keep an eye on.

        This is why I said:

        Stop posting anything which would give him any attention at all unless it's about something which really

      • by ukyoCE (106879)

        Exactly - the problem isn't that he gets attention on Slashdot. The problem is he keeps getting put on Fox News and other networks, spouting his BS. And that's something that attention on Slashdot and other sites can help fight back against.

    • by nomadic (141991)
      Just stop posting stories about him.

      It's a for-profit website. They want views and articles about him tend to get them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arkhan_jg (618674)

      On the other hand, there's the schadenfreude we derive from seeing Jack finally get his comeuppance.

      After years and years of thinking 'surely THIS time', it's really satisfying for the court system to catch on to what us gamers have seen all this time - that he's an utter loon who besmirches the name of anything he's a part of.

      I don't know about you, but in this case, I'm really glad to see that justice has finally been done.

      • It's not reall Schadenfreude on my side. It's just Freude that the system works and doesn't hand free reign to people who don't care about the constitutional rights of others.

        Seeing someone being kicked out of his job (permanently) doesn't really fill me with glee. Imagine you were banned from using a computer ever again. I'm not happy about his misery. I'm happy that he was stopped from making other people miserable.

    • What? Can you imagine that he might stop spewing his rants and someone could take over the banner of "ban those violent games" that one could mistake for someone that you should take serious?

      As long as Jacky is fuming, ranting and raving, you can use him as a poster child: "Look, that's someone who thinks video games are violent. Well, would you rather be a violent gamer or would you prefer to be like THIS?"

    • The less attention you guys personally give him, the more neglected he'll feel and the less of an attention whore he might become.

      I see what you're saying, but bear this in mind.

      Last time I looked there's about 1.4 million slashdot users. Take away inactive accounts and twitter sockpuppets and you're down to about half a million. If ten percent of those are here on a regular basis, thats only 50k. The USA has 300 million. Then there's the rest of the world...

      Slashdot isn't representative. Any publici

  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @12:19AM (#27671157) Homepage

    The timing leaves the country safe for this new game:
    http://www.theonion.com/content/video/hot_new_video_game_consists [theonion.com]

  • Seriously... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @12:20AM (#27671175)
    ...Jack WHO?

    The man was barely relevant before. Now he is irrelevant.

    R.I.P. Jack What's-His-Name. Time to move on.
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by Trintech (1137007)

      ...Jack WHO? The man was barely relevant before. Now he is irrelevant.

      So was Joe the Plumber but he's still doing talk shows and appearing in the media.

      Controversy sells. This won't be the last we hear from him.

    • No, he's VERY relevant!

      If someone comes along and talks about how violent video games are and that they should be banned, point at Jack and say "hey, look, you're taking his side".

      • Re:Seriously... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by geminidomino (614729) * on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @08:08AM (#27673209) Journal

        No, he's VERY relevant!

        If someone comes along and talks about how violent video games are and that they should be banned, point at Jack and say "hey, look, you're taking his side".

        Surely we can do better than association fallacies? That kind of sloppy argument is better left in the hands of the dickholes like Thompson.

  • Mr. Thompson responded with an appeal to get his status as biggest douche in the universe overturned. "I'm not a douche!", said Thompson.

  • I thought he was relegated to Utah and representing the Osmonds in their suit with the Jackson 5 over the shutes and ladders fiasco.
  • Get some real stories and stop upping this garbage.
  • by SL Baur (19540)

    Jack Thompson was disbarred last year in Florida, putting a halt to annoying lawsuits

    The spelling and grammar nazi side of me says "putting" is something you do on a golf green. The rest of me says, "w00t!".
     

    • Re:W00t! (Score:4, Funny)

      by overzero (1358049) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @01:53AM (#27671577)

      The spelling and grammar nazi side of me says "putting" is something you do on a golf green.

      This explains why the Nazis weren't known for their grasp of the English language or their golf skills.

    • Re:W00t! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @01:58AM (#27671597)

      Put and putt share a present participle. Both are conjugated as "putting".

      I'd file a bug report for this, as it's undesirable behavior, but I don't know who's maintaining the English language these days.

      • by greed (112493)

        It's not just that there's no official maintainer....

        It's all the forks that have happened over the years, with local dialects, pidgins, patois, and so on, each with their own user base, and varying levels of maintainer control.

        It seems almost anyone is allowed to commit to en_US, for example. How else could "literally" mean "not literally"? Or "bi-monthly" mean "every other month" and "twice a month"?

  • Thompson's tenacity would fit in well with Scientology's breed of sharks. He just has to move to Clearwater and he's set for life.

  • by Anenome (1250374) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @03:32AM (#27672015)

    (Voiceover): It's Channel 5 News at 11, and now, our top story:

    Cristy: Noted anti-video-game crusader Jack Thompson's appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied today. Thompson was disbarred by the Florida Supreme court earlier this year and was seeking to be vindicated and have his license reinstated...

    John: In related news, a D.C. prostitute just around the corner from the bar nearest the Supreme Court turned down Jack Thompson's last $20 in his bid for a blowjob. The madame is quoted as saying to Thompson, "No way, you creepy ass mother-fucker, get a life, Jesus." Thompson's office could not be reached for comment. Cristy?

    Cristy: Well, looks like that's another 'happy-ending' Thompson won't be getting today.

    All: Ahahaha.

  • IANAL (Score:5, Funny)

    by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:06AM (#27672167)

    I am not a lawyer, but... neither is Jack Thompson now.

  • Hooray

    This made my day.

    Nothing better than to see a Suit get his/her just desserts, PARTICULARLY at the hands of other Suits.

    I love it!

  • I love his response. In typical Jacko fashion he doesn't see this as a set back at all. He claims he has 4 other ways to get his license back that are even more likely to work than the Supreme Court.

    why do I suspect that one of them involves changing his name so he can try to get a license under his new name?
    • by shentino (1139071)

      I hope he tries this.

      Personally I would love to see this guy arrested, charged, tried, and convicted.

      Come on Jack...keep digging.

    • He claims he has 4 other ways to get his license back that are even more likely to work than the Supreme Court.

      Then why didn't he try those first?

  • Disbarment is an excellent way to stop religiously-motivated extremist lawyers. Just look at Fred Phelps, for example.

    Oh wait...

  • He can always get a job as an expert on Fox News.

  • Or so Game Politics quotes:

    In response to [GamePolitics'] speculation that "the... decision almost certainly ends Thompson's fight to have his permanent disbarment overturned," - Not at all. I have four more options, all better than this one. This was the longest of shots. All four of the others are much, much shorter shots. Stay tuned. As Winston Churchill implored: "Never give in. Never, never, never, never, never."

  • To know you have been beaten. To know you cant ever fight again. Must be a terrible feeling. Doesnt make anything he did right per say. But I cant help but feel bad for the guy. If I was him I would probably be considering suicide right now.
    • To know you have been beaten. To know you cant ever fight again. Must be a terrible feeling. Doesnt make anything he did right per say. But I cant help but feel bad for the guy. If I was him I would probably be considering suicide right now.

      ...

      per say

      Really?
  • I agree with the first guy. He won't be slowed down by this, he will gain encouragement from it like any megalomaniac would. Luckily Planet Earth is rapidly running out of people who take him seriously, and oddly enough most of it is his fault. Once there is nobody left and his pathetic attempts at self-promotion fall on deaf ears, I am betting he will turn to violence to call attention to himself again.
  • Don't you mean "...but a great day for everyone everywhere" ?

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