Kagan: Supreme Court Hasn't 'Gotten to' Email

They still communicate via hand-delivered notes

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 21, 2013 10:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – The next time the Supreme Court rules on a technical issue, you might want to think back to the conversation Elena Kagan had yesterday at Brown University. "The justices are not necessarily the most technologically sophisticated people," Kagan told the historian interviewing her, according to the AP. "The court hasn't really 'gotten to' email." Instead, the justices communicate via memos written on ancient-looking ivory paper, which are then hand-delivered by a "chambers aide."

The justices don't use Facebook, Twitter, or any other form of social media, either. Kagan, who at 53 is the youngest justice, says the court turns to its younger clerks when it has to try to understand cases related to technology. They also sometimes do some research of their own—including a "kind of hilarious" attempt to play violent video games when considering a case on them.

US Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, right, talks with Brown University historian Ted Widmer during a forum at Chase Theater in Providence, RI, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013.
US Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, right, talks with Brown University historian Ted Widmer during a forum at Chase Theater in Providence, RI, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Elena Kagan walks on stage with Brown University historian Ted Widmer during a forum in Providence, RI, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013.
Elena Kagan walks on stage with Brown University historian Ted Widmer during a forum in Providence, RI, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
United States Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan speaks with Brown University historian Ted Widmer in Providence, RI, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013.
United States Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan speaks with Brown University historian Ted Widmer in Providence, RI, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
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