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by Vault Law Editors | November 22, 2010


After seeing Aaron Sorkin's box office hit The Social Network, popularly known as the Facebook movie, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer collected his thoughts and delivered the kind of straightforward verdict rarely heard from the long-winded bench. "It's quite clear; we don't have a Facebook page" he declared, referencing the Court's collective ignorance to modern technology and social media in particular. While meant as an earnest assessment of the Supreme Court's disconnect from the internet-savvy public, Breyer's acknowledgment read more like the kind of sad-but-hilarious confession one might expect to hear from a group of geriatric uncles. Justice Breyer hardly fits that stereotype; if anyone on the bench might have had a clue, it probably would've come from the Stanford-educated liberal from San Francisco. Instead, Breyer admits that he "didn't even understand" the film, bringing us crashing back to his original point: The Supreme Court is out of touch with both a majority demographic of the public it serves and a major platform of the American economy—not to mention the laws that govern both. A disturbing revelation? Maybe. But still funny? Oh yeah.

Below you'll find a series of tech-related quotes which we've attributed to some of our very own Supreme Court Justices. Keep in mind that some of these quotes are, well, downright fake. Others hail from foreign judges and geezer politicians; one potentially stuffed ex-football coach even makes a contribution. Of course, the most frightening quotes are neither invented nor wrongfully attributed. Can you figure out which less-than-lucid Justice actually said what?

• “Gentlemen, let’s face facts: we do not have the means to download our prescriptions from this website.” – Clarence Thomas, regarding the Affordable Care Act

• "I don't really understand what a website is." – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, regarding metaphysical certainty

• "I thought, you know, you push a button; it goes right to the other thing…" "You mean it doesn't go right to the other thing?" – John Roberts and Antonin Scalia, regarding text messaging

• "My assistant sent me an Internet, but it wouldn't open for me." – Anthony Kennedy, regarding Internets

• "My wife calls me Mr. Clueless." – Antonin Scalia, regarding Twitter

• "My son said, 'go look at this.' I sat there for two hours absolutely hypnotized." – Stephen Breyer, regarding Twitter

• "You listen to eBay and e-mail and all that junk, and you all kept writing about it, and it becomes a cancer." – Samuel Alito, regarding the link between eBay and cancer

• "I don’t even know what it is, to tell you the truth. I've heard it talked about." – Antonin Scalia, on "Twitting"



1)False 2)Wrongfully attributed; spoken by a British justice 3)True 4)False 5)True 6)True 7)Wrongfully attributed; spoken by ex- Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden 8)True


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