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Judges Explaining Technology
July 8, 2014 10:28 AM   Subscribe

"As a matter of science, traditional adoption does not provide a woman with the opportunity to be pregnant.” Reber v. Reiss, 42 A.3d 1131, 1138-39 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2012). Judges Explaining Technology.
posted by dzkalman (25 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
What is "slip op.?"
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:31 AM on July 8


What is "slip op.?"

Slip opinion.
posted by effbot at 10:33 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]


judgesplainin'
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:35 AM on July 8 [9 favorites]


"Global climate change," whatever that is.
posted by obfuscation at 10:35 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]


You know, a lot of these aren't particularly wrong, they just emphasize factors that are relevant to the judgment and may sound silly or stilted to people who know more about the technology. Especially the stuff from Riley v. California - you know, future generations need to be able to apply this precedent in 30 years when no one will remember what the hell a "flip phone" is, after all.

I look forward to the equally sagacious "Techies Explaining the Law."
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 10:59 AM on July 8 [21 favorites]


For the Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA one you can practically see a judge in a black robe doing exaggerated air quotes.
posted by brundlefly at 11:01 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]


Part of me thinks these oddly specific definitions are hilariously ridiculous, but the practical part of me thinks they would actually be extremely useful for historians researching court records hundreds of years from now when no one remembers what an app is anymore.

On preview, what Joey Buttafoucault said.
posted by Librarypt at 11:03 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]


Yeah, as far as "folks explaining topics way out of their area of expertise" goes, judges tend to do a surprisingly good job usually. The need to define certain categories of things in a precise manner ("flip phone") can definitely make it sound goofy though.
posted by kiltedtaco at 11:05 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]


I look forward to the equally sagacious "Techies Explaining the Law."

Thing is, deciphering the Law -- given access to the codes and caselaw in question -- to me is WAY easier than figuring out some legacy spaghetti code...
posted by mikelieman at 11:07 AM on July 8


Case law is a series of tubes ...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:14 AM on July 8 [7 favorites]


I don't find many (any?) of these particularly silly. They want the opinions to be understandable without reliance on historic/cultural context or excessive reference to outside materials.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:28 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]


I look forward to the equally sagacious "Techies Explaining the Law."

I mean, I guess piracy is TECHNICALLY illegal, but
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:37 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]


mikelieman: "deciphering the Law... is WAY easier than figuring out some legacy spaghetti code"

Maybe, but the law has a much larger ecosystem of interpreters than code does, and there are no good debugging tools for the SCOTUS2014_KENNEDYANTHONY virtual machine.
posted by Riki tiki at 11:37 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]


I look forward to the equally sagacious "Techies Explaining the Law."

Chapter 1: How to patent your company name
Chapter 2: no, it's a trademark, you fool
Chapter 3: I'm pretty sure it's a patent
Chapter 4: You're both wrong, it's copyrighted
Chapter 5: I think you mean copywritten
Chapter 6: Oh, the humanity!
posted by zippy at 11:37 AM on July 8 [8 favorites]



Maybe, but the law has a much larger ecosystem of interpreters than code does, and there are no good debugging tools for the SCOTUS2014_KENNEDYANTHONY virtual machine.


This is where decades of experience and the "Long View" comes handy. Remember how Scalia telegraphed the end of Marriage bigotry? Well, the suggestion that "The US Gov't Should Pay For Woman's Healthcare" is another nugget of this SCOTUS2014_thing... Just wait until Hilary is in then Medicare For All!
posted by mikelieman at 11:40 AM on July 8


Cloud computing is the capacity of Internet-connected devices to display data stored on remote servers rather than on the device itself.


Problem is, quotes like that can be spot-on or completely wrong depending on context.

Thing is, deciphering the Law -- given access to the codes and caselaw in question -- to me is WAY easier than figuring out some legacy spaghetti code...

Much (most?) of this seems to be Constitutional Law, which is a different beast entirely.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:46 AM on July 8


I look forward to the equally sagacious "Techies Explaining the Law."

That's easy. Here's the sum total of the legal system in the US:
1) determine who involved is wealthiest and/or whitest
2) that person wins
  2a) ...unless they didn't give enough to the right political slush funds
  2b) ...and if they are also opposed by someone photogenic
3) in case of white/wealthy ties, see Steps 2a & 2b

Everything else is merely sophistry to conceal the above.
posted by aramaic at 11:52 AM on July 8 [5 favorites]


Yeah, these all seem very vanilla to me. They don't seem wrong at all. Or funny. I'm at a complete loss as to what the interest is.

Judicial opinions deal with the facts before the Court that are well-known to the parties and generally known to the Court. The Judge has to create an accessible opinion that accurately reflects those facts while making the relevant issues and facts understandable to someone who has no knowledge of the facts before the Court.

Take the first one: "There are many medical conditions for which pregnancy is contraindicated." This is completely true. For instance, a lady post-op heart valve repair and on Coumadin might be contraindicated for pregnancy because of bleeding issues. There are any number of other circumstances where that might likewise be true. It would add nothing to the opinion to enumerate those conditions. It was probably addressed in the briefing and the Court takes it as true, but for outside readers, there is no reason to know about them. All you need to know is that one of the reasons that access to birth control is important is that for some people, pregnancy can be medically precarious due to their existing medical conditions.

Do people expect judges to do this process differently?
posted by dios at 12:12 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


With dios. Nothing here is glaringly wrong, strikingly funny, or even particularly ill-informed.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:40 PM on July 8


What is the point of this list? I'm a smart techie who is really worried about some recent decisions and the implications for the country, so I'm willing to add to my umbrage but I don't get it from this.
posted by dness2 at 12:44 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


I was expecting a blog of judges truly screwing up technology. I'm sure one could make such a blog, but this isn't it.

I mean, why wouldn't an opinion explain what a flip phone is, if this is a relevant fact?
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:46 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


"Politicians Explaining Technology" would probably be a much juicier compilation.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:59 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


future generations need to be able to apply this precedent in 30 years when no one will remember what the hell a "flip phone" is, after all.

posted by srboisvert at 1:35 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


These people need to think through their urls more, because there's no way I'm not reading that as 'judge sex plaining technology'.
posted by Ned G at 3:15 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


More judges should have sex planes.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:19 PM on July 8


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