Did Justice Alito Sanction Court’s Lag Behind Technology

It has been said, many times, that the court system lags dramatically behind technology.  All to often, courts must play catch up – or often gerrymander common law doctrine – to fit previously unforeseen complications from the Internet. (think trespass to chattels and spam).   During oral arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the recent challenge to California’s Prop. 8, Justice Alito reminded those following the case, that the proper role of the Court is one of reflection and not necessarily trailblazing.  Speaking to counsel for those opposing Prop. 8 Justice Alito said, “You want us to step in and render a decision based on an assessment of the effects of this institution, which is newer than cellphones or the Internet?”  Sounds like those who question the speed with which courts react to issues of social media have their answer.  Justice Alito says take your time!



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