A federal appeals court has said it is OK for a judge to search the net to confirm an intuition about a matter of common knowledge, in this case a yellow rain hat that featured in a criminal trial, reports the Grey Lady, aka, the New York Times.
The appeals court endorsed the judge’s effort (basically a Google search for images of yellow rain hats) to confirm his “common sense supposition” that more than one yellow rain hat was for sale.
In the olden days judges were allowed to go shopping to confirm this, but now “a judge need only take a few moments to confirm his intuition by conducting a basic internet search,” the appeals court said. “As the cost of confirming one’s intuition decreases, we would expect to
see more judges doing just that.”
Downtime expects the decision to leave judges leaping head first into the 20th century.