Our Supreme Court Justices are Tech-Illiterate
As electronic cigarettes grow in popularity, it won’t be long before these battery operated devices are debated in front of the Supreme Court. When that day comes, the Supreme Court Justices will have to decide what qualifies as a tobacco product, what counts as smoking, and what constitutes a proven and supportable health claim about e-cigs. We and probably all electronic companies will be praying that our Supreme Court Justices have done their homework to fully understand what an electronic cigarette is.
Our Justices, all old enough to be our grandparents and even great-grandparents, are tech-illiterate. And it’s not surprising. The older generation tend to fall behind the times because they grew up with different things. They didn’t use iPhones communicate, they rode bikes to meet up. They didn’t rely on a computerized voice for directions, they used maps. And they certainly did not use a liquid solution to get their nicotine fix, they just smoked traditional cigarettes. It’s fine and all that the older generation cannot keep up with the times, but it becomes a major concern when those in power to make final decisions are from the older generation, namely our Supreme Court Justices. Perhaps one too many times, the Supreme Court Justices have acknowledged that they are unfamiliar with new technology. For example, Justice Roberts asked what’s the difference between a pager and an email. Justice Breyer does not understand the GPS capabilities of smartphones. And Justice Kennedy believed a patent troll was the monster that lives under the bridge. Twenty-first century technology has come to the Court, but it’s clear that the Court has not come to the twenty-first century.
Difficult times will be coming for electronic cigarettes as the Supreme Justices will likely see the vaping product as a traditional cigarette. There is no definitive date when the Supreme Court will review the electronic cigarette, but let’s all hope that when that day comes, the Supreme Justice will have read about and understand what an electronic cigarette is or else face embarrassment. And if our Justices demonstrate poor understanding of modern technology, the power of the social media will make certain that everyone knows how behind our Justices are. Internet embarrassment is never a fun thing.
Image Courtesy of Slate.com