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Chief Justice Roberts on Technology-Related Cases:
According to the Deseret Morning News, Chief Justice Roberts recently responded to a question at Brigham Young University about areas of law likely to be important in the future by suggesting "that technology-related cases could be the most important area of law considered by the Supreme Court over the next quarter of a century."
  Emerging technologies can create new questions about old laws. For example, imaging technology exists that allows law enforcement officers to see through walls. "Is that an unlimited search and seizure?" Roberts asked.
  "People tend to be focused on what are the hot issues right now," he added. "Those are not the issues I think 25 years from now will be the ones people will look back on and say were significant."
  Justice Alito made a somewhat similar comment last year after judging a moot court that touched on how the Fourth Amendment applies to computer networks:
  What constitutes a "search and seizure" online is a critical law debate and is constantly reshaping the Fourth Amendment, he said.
  "Now we're entering this new virtual world," Alito said, "and we have to translate the precedents and principles we have dealing with physical grounds to the world of electronic communication."
Hat tip: Howard.
George Weiss (mail):
[Deleted by OK. George, if you want to know why I posted this, you might want to take a look at some of my law review articles.]
10.24.2007 4:19pm
kd (mail) (www):
What I find most interesting about both of these quotes is what they don't address, namely, non-criminal issues. Search and seizure cases will definitely be big over the next 25 years, but other issues like jurisdiction, anti-trust, and plain old IP are likely to be even bigger, as the very nature of business changes because of the internet. Where is an internet-only business located? Where is its primary place of business? How do you define anticompetitive behavior for internet companies? Who owns what? Very exciting stuff.
10.24.2007 4:24pm
Mike& (mail):
[Deleted by OK. George, if you want to know why I posted this, you might want to take a look at some of my law review articles.]


I don't know what George wrote, but I was about to say, "Hmmm... Gloating about scholarly choices, are we?" I was even going to insert one of those smileys. But I always feel self-conscious when I use them.

So it would seem odd that someone would not know why you posted this item.
10.24.2007 4:52pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Emerging technologies can create new questions about old laws. For example, imaging technology exists that allows law enforcement officers to see through walls. "Is that an unlimited search and seizure?" Roberts asked.

Is Roberts implying he wants to revisit Scalia's thermal imaging opinion?
10.24.2007 4:56pm
pdanielson (mail) (www):
I tend to agree with kd above, in that there are an infinite number of technology-related issues that courts will have to grapple with in the not-so-distant future. An example I find incredibly interesting is tort law. Studies have shown that virtual reality can have real, physical effects on the body (i.e. using a virtual "ice world" to reduce the pain of burn treatments for burn victims - they objectively feel less pain when observing a virtual, icy environment). Could a real-life physical effect produced by a virtual interaction (observing one's avatar subjected to horrific abuse) satisfy one of the elements of IIED? Remember, the physical effect is real.

The search and seizure area of law becomes even more interesting when you start to wonder what happens when brain-mapping technology becomes more precise. If you are a materialist, where do you draw the line from drawing blood to test for BAC to scanning someone's thoughts? The latter is less physically intrusive, while the former has been ruled A-OK by the SC because it is passive enough not to constitute testifying against oneself.
10.24.2007 5:43pm
George Weiss (mail):
oren that wasnt cirticism of your post...it was critisism of the justices. i know why YOU are intrested...its your filed

in case orin now decides not to delete this new formulation my point is

1. it is obivous that computers and eletrnics will be a legal grwoth field but
2. often such field require young lawyers gettinginto the fieldto have undergraduate degress in techinial areas and often
3. they dont have it and want to know what other area are also growth fields....

so it does not good for the supreme court to make these trendy and obviosul statements.

i donno if its better criticing the supreme court over you on this blog...but lets see whtehr you delltete this too
10.24.2007 5:57pm
Sean O'Hara (mail) (www):
Let's just hope they don't make any boneheaded mistakes about new technologies.
10.24.2007 5:59pm
Constitutional Crisis (mail):

Let's just hope they don't make any boneheaded mistakes about new technologies.


"The Court described movies in some technical detail and noted their popularity, but wrote "they may be used for evil," and for this reason, "We cannot regard [the censorship of movies] as beyond the power of government."

MOM, DAD, DON'T TOUCH IT....IT'S EEEEEVIL!!!!! [/Time Bandits]
10.24.2007 6:27pm
Mike& (mail):

Let's just hope they don't make any boneheaded mistakes about new technologies.



That was hilarious. Thanks for sharing it.
10.24.2007 7:01pm
New Pseudonym (mail):
I'm just a dillitante here, so I'm sorry if I cover old ground, but relative to searches and seizures, what is a "reasonable" expectation of privacy?

If I use a WiFi connection for my computer, I know that anything I transmit is out there in the electromagnetic spectrum for anyone to receive, if I use DSL, I know that someone has to tap into a fiber optic connection. Does that make a difference in reasonableness? What about the fact that eventually either way my transmissions are out there in ether land? Is any expectation under these circumstances "reasonable?"
10.24.2007 8:37pm
Wahoowa:
Sean et al

I'm not in the mood to read the whole case, but could someone tell me why in the world the U.S. S.Ct. was opining on the Ohio Constitution?
10.24.2007 10:35pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
I'm not in the mood to read the whole case, but could someone tell me why in the world the U.S. S.Ct. was opining on the Ohio Constitution?
I thought Wikipedia just had it wrong, but no. For some inexplicable reason, the Court really was doing that.
10.25.2007 3:38am
Frog Leg (mail):
Roberts: "For example, imaging technology exists that allows law enforcement officers to see through walls."

Does anyone have a link about this new technology? I looked some for this and came up dry.
10.25.2007 10:24am
Fub:
Frog Leg wrote at 10.25.2007 9:24am:
Does anyone have a link about this new technology? I looked some for this and came up dry.
For some overview information, see FN 3 in Kyllo.
10.25.2007 3:51pm