Ah yes, the mighty Supreme Court, the ultimate judicial body on all issues, including final interpretive authority on laws relating to technology across this great land. Hooray!
So while these nine justices--the brightest legal minds in the country--may be well versed when it comes to matters of Stare Decisis, ask 'em about Sega Genesis, and all you get are nine stumped robes with decisive stares.
During oral arguments in the case City of Ontario v. Quon, which considers whether police officers had an expectation of privacy in personal (and sexually explicit) text messages sent on pagers issued to them by the city, the savvy minds of the Supreme Court appeared to have difficulty wrapping their thick robes around all this crazy new technology, like electronic mail, cell phones, the series of tubes called the Internets, and those typewriter thingy's that come with a screen, DC's or PC's or something like that.
"The first sign was about midway through the argument, when Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.--who is known to write out his opinions in long hand with pen and paper instead of a computer (and bitch about meany black presidents not named Bush)--asked what the difference was 'between email and a pager?'"
Ummm, let's see, how shall we explain this in a way someone of his age, who still uses a legal pad instead of an iPad, will understand?
You use email for contacting the wifey (like what time she should have your dinner ready), while a pager is for contacting the mistress (like which by-the-hour motel to meet you at), and never the twain shall meet! Capisce?
Wow. Perhaps you should loosen your robe, Juris Doctor Roberts, I think it may be cutting off your oxygen supply, unless it's your W-era software that is the problem.
He must still be runnin' Windows Operating System Bush 2.0. That one was full of bugs, coding errors, and compatibility problems outside the U.S, 'cept for Poland, Marshall Islands, El Salvadore, Azerbaijan, and other 'tech-savvy' Coalition of the Willing members with no standing armies or digital infrastructures to tweet of.
Certainly one of other spry, young whippersnappers on the high court (besides the 55-year-young Chief) are familiar with all this off-the-hook youth technology apart from electricity and indoor plumbing.
Like 73-year old Supreme Court "tween," Justice Anthony Kennedy who 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.
I emailed him to ask if he was really that technologically ignorant, but just kept getting this weird beeping sound. Maybe I'll have more luck sending smoke signals or carrier pigeons!?
Perhaps sprightly 74-year-old Justice Antonin Scalia could help enlighten the rest of us luddites with all this cutting edge mumbo jumbo like service providers.
"You mean the text doesn’t go right to me?" Scalia asked.
Oh sh*t! Now everyone will see the sweet nothings me and Clary send each other while chillaxin' in our robes discussing a certain illegal Kenyan's birth certificate late night in the chambers when no one's around to disturb us.
Then he asked whether they can be printed out in hard copy, using one of them devil machines.
"Could Quon print these spicy little conversations and send them to his buddies?" Scalia asked, fantasizing about the spicy little supper wife Maureen better be whippin' up, lest she wants the spicy little belt whippin' again.
But fear not, America! It wasn't just the justices who had technical difficulties.
When Justice Samuel Alito asked Quon’s attorney Dieter Dammeier if officers could delete text messages from their pagers in a way that would prevent the city from retrieving them from the wireless carrier later, Dammeier said that they could.
Apparently, Alito still wasn't satisfied, but unlike during President Obama's State of the Union address, did manage to contain himself from convulsing violently and mouthing "No, No!"
A few minutes later, Alito gave Dammeier another shot at that question, asking him, "Are you sure about your answer on deletion?"
Dammeier admitted that he didn't know. "I couldn't be certain," he said.
What is certain however, is that these living fossils do come in color. Kind of. If you count Clarence Thomas as "black," Scalia's fat red face, or Roberts and Alito's purplish rage whenever Comrade Barry calls them out for reversing a century of legal precedent, so Uncle Ben (the rice maker) can donate as much campaign money as Ben's Uncle (with the pace maker), just like our Founding Fathers™ intended.
Either way, looks like this justice system needs to reboot, reset, and restart. Otherwise, it's Game Over for the rest of us non-Apple II GS users. But be patient. This new dial-up takes a few minutes to load.
But, that's okay, we have all the time in the world. A whole lifetime to be exact.