Posted on February 14, 2010 by Lyssa
USA Today reminds us that the U.S. Supreme Court justices are really old.
The average age of the nine justices — who range from 55 to nearly 90 — is about 70. Yet the tenor of oral arguments also reflects the sensibility of the bookish types who end up at the marble cloister. As a group, the justices — and many of the lawyers who argue before them — like history and classical music and were baffled by all the fuss when a case involving Anna Nicole Smith, then a reality-show star, came before them in 2006.
In a dispute this term over employees’ duty of “honest services” under a vaguely worded federal law, Breyer tried to show how the law could be taken to extremes. The scenario he spun brought spectators back to a time of fedora-wearing men itching to play the ponies rather than get their work done:
” ‘Do you like my hat,’ says the boss. ‘Oh, I love your hat,’ says the worker. Why? So the boss will leave the room so that the worker can continue to read the Racing Form. Deception?” Breyer queried.
Other justices, including John Paul Stevens, 89, and Anthony Kennedy, 73, raised hypotheticals that involved the timeless practice of skipping out to catch a baseball game. (None of the nine suggested the contemporary scenario of shopping online while on the clock.)
Actually, and I think this article gets this and is mainly meant to be amusing and lighthearted, I don’t think that the age and even “out-of-touch-ness” is a bad thing. Federal law, constitutional law in particular, should be generalized and timeless; if it’s applicable to yesterday’s tech, it should be applicable to tomorrow’s as well.
We think we’re living in an information age, but we ain’t seen nothing yet compared to what the future will likely bring.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Aging, Future, SCOTUS, USA Today | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 11, 2010 by Lyssa
Posted on January 2, 2010 by Lyssa
More than anything else, “2010” sounds incredibly futuristic. As I child, I imagined 2000, perhaps even further, but I’m pretty sure my planning stopped by the time I would pass my 20’s (an event I will be celebrating in just a few weeks).
A few months ago, I happened to catch the second Back to the Future movie on cable (and I watched it. and I enjoyed it). Do you realize that the future as imagined by Robert Zemeckis, with flying cars, hoverboards, holograms, and dehydrated pizza, took place in 2015? That’s five years away! Life still seems more like the 80’s than it does like the world of Marty McFly’s idiot child. (She said as she typed on her 3 pound laptop computer information which would be instantly communicated to the rest of the world via wireless internet, while her husband plays Playstation 3 on a wireless controller and a plasma TV.)
I feel so disappointed in you, future.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Disappointment, Future, Movies | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 5, 2009 by Lyssa
Tom Maguire realizes the future . . . has already occurred.
Joe Gandelman of The Moderately Amusing (And Reliably Liberal) Voice pens on political polarization in the US and challenges our imaginations with this toughie:
If Republicans and conservatives make the very legitimacy of Obama, his patriotism — even the safety of allowing little kids listen to him tell them to stay in school and think about helping their community — the issue, and link his name to Hitler and/or Nazism, precisely how do they think Democrats and the left will respond next time a GOPer is in power? How will the next Republican President be treated in terms of legitimacy and doing what he/she feels is in the best interest of the country?
This taxes the imagination, but let’s try – I predict wild movies alleging the President is in cahoots with foreign terrorists and domestic criminals, prominent Democrats alleging that the President conspired to kill thousands of Americans, constant linkage of the Republican President with Hitler, and an ongoing denial of his legitimacy. At a guess.
It’s like some wild syfy movie, man!
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Barack Obama, Future, George Bush | Leave a comment »