Our Tech-Savvy Supreme Court

Modbert

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http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2010/04/19/our-tech-savvy-supreme-court/

the supreme court justices are a bright bunch. But chances are you’re not going to see them at next january’s ces show or ever watch them on a web video demonstrating how to create apps for the iphone.

That much was driven home, it seems, during today’s oral arguments in the case city of ontario v. Quon.

The case examines whether a california police department violated the constitutional rights of an employee when it inspected personal text messages sent and received by a pager owned by the city of ontario, calif.
according to this post, at dc dicta, the court asked some questions of the lawyers which, well, the justices’ kids and grandkids could have answered while sleepwalking.

According to the story, the first sign of trouble came was about midway through the argument, when chief justice john roberts asked what the difference was “between email and a pager?” (cue sound of hard slap against forehead.)

at another point, justice anthony kennedy asked what would happen if a text message was sent to an officer at the same time he was sending one to someone else.

“does it say: ‘your call is important to us, and we will get back to you?’” kennedy asked. (cue sound of louder slap against forehead.)

justice antonin scalia stumbled getting his arms around with the idea of a service provider.

“you mean (the text) doesn’t go right to me?” he asked.

then he asked whether they can be printed out in hard copy.

“could quon print these spicy little conversations and send them to his buddies?” scalia asked.


maybe the justices are against cameras in the court because when they think of cameras, they think of those huge cameras on tripods with the cloth to cover the photographers and the supernova flash-bulbs.
$facepalm.jpg
 

Madeline

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Yeah, I hear ya Dogbert. Apologists were busy explaining that Justices employ smart young lawyers to clerk for them who doubtless can explain technology. Kinda makes ya wonder who'll be deciding these cases huh?

Email has been around now for 39 years. Seems like someone on the court might have grasped its nuances by now. What a bunch of bright bulbs Reagan et al has left us with.
 

SFC Ollie

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There actually are people who do not spend their lives on the internet, twitter and cell phones. I am surprised at some of the questions but I would also rather they ask than guess.
 
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Modbert

Modbert

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There actually are people who do not spend their lives on the internet, twitter and cell phones. I am surprised at some of the questions but I would also rather they ask than guess.
You don't need to understand the differences between a email and pager. Also on the concept of service providers. It doesn't scare you one bit that people are deciding cases about the internet and have not a clue what it even is?
 

SFC Ollie

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There actually are people who do not spend their lives on the internet, twitter and cell phones. I am surprised at some of the questions but I would also rather they ask than guess.
You don't need to understand the differences between a email and pager. Also on the concept of service providers. It doesn't scare you one bit that people are deciding cases about the internet and have not a clue what it even is?
Which is why I am glad that they asked. I have always been a firm believer that the only truly stupid question is the one you do not ask.
 
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Modbert

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Which is why I am glad that they asked. I have always been a firm believer that the only truly stupid question is the one you do not ask.
Yes, I'm glad they asked too. However, just because you get the answer does not mean you fully comprehend what the implications of such a case on the internet could be.

And the fact they had to ask such basic questions tells me that their knowledge on the subject is not exactly vast.
 

SFC Ollie

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Which is why I am glad that they asked. I have always been a firm believer that the only truly stupid question is the one you do not ask.
Yes, I'm glad they asked too. However, just because you get the answer does not mean you fully comprehend what the implications of such a case on the internet could be.

And the fact they had to ask such basic questions tells me that their knowledge on the subject is not exactly vast.
No I wouldn't call it vast. I trust they have a firm understanding and even a few demos from their staffs before ruling.
 

Polk

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This is pretty bloody depressing.
 

blu

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this is quite scary, espeically with shit like net neutrality and 4th amendment rights applied to email and such being hot topics of the day.
 

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